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- What is the business?
The telecom equipment market covers fixed and mobile communications networks and related equipment development, design, and deployment, as well as the delivery of services (maintenance, upgrade, etc.) and solutions (automation, optimisation software).
- What are the main markets?
The telecom equipment market can be broken down into: mobile RAN (Radio Access Network), optical transport, broadband access, microwave, carrier IP telephony, wireless packet core, and the SP (Service Provider) router and carrier ethernet switch segments. Mobile RAN and optical transport were the largest businesses in 2018.
- Who are the key players?
Huawei retained the industry crown in 2018, its market share standing at approx. 29%. The next biggest players are Scandinavian companies Nokia (including Alcatel Lucent) and Ericsson. ZTE's slice of the pie declined, with its entire survival put in doubt in 2018 as the US government barred US tech firms from selling essential 5G components to the company over alleged telecom equipment sales to Iran.
- How intense is competition?
Operators are looking to enhance their networks through automation. This trend has triggered a shift in telecom kit vendors' business models, and they are now tailoring their product mix to provide end-to-end solutions, including software traditionally provided by IT service groups. Moreover, significantly faster, low-latency (5G) networks will become critical infrastructure for a wide range of services (driven by machine communication and generally referred to as the Internet of Things) and business models across industries.