Worldwide mobile core market great 10% in the first quarter from a year ago to be worth US$8 billion, according to market research group Dell’Oro.
Huawei and Ericsson combined for over half of the market share in terms of revenue. Nokia, ZTE and Cisco together totaled over 25%, it said.
"There are other factors influencing the uptake. The COVID-19 pandemic is now seen mostly as a positive for the wireless infrastructure sector with more demand for voice and data.
“Plus the T-Mobile/Sprint merger has completed, and the new T-Mobile is moving ahead with an aggressive 5G build,” David Bolan, Senior Analyst at Dell'Oro Group said in a statement.
"Our outlook has become more positive, especially since the Chinese service providers accelerated their plans for 5G Core deployments," Boland said. "China Mobile and China Unicom have completed their 5G Core tenders, and plan to launch 5G service early in 3Q20. We expect other Chinese service providers will follow very soon. This has raised our outlook to an anticipated growth of 14 percent year over year for the trailing four quarters ending in 1Q21."
Deploying 5G core networks allow for the commercialization of standalone 5G network, which boasts lower latency than non-standalone 5G networks which also uses 4G LTE networks.
Earlier this year, China Mobile has chosen Huawei, ZTE and Ericsson as vendors for its 5G core network. China Telecom also uses the same vendor, while China Unicom adds Nokia to its vendor list.
As of the first quarter this year, Huawei controlled 28% of the worldwide telecom equipment market and is the world’s largest vendor. Nokia was second with 15% and Ericsson third with 14%. ZTE came in fourth with 11% followed by Cisco’s 6%.
Meanwhile, Dell’Oro expects the global telecom equipment market to contract 4% in 2020 compared to 2019.