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October 11, 2012

As Wireless Infrastructure Revenues Drop, LTE RAN Raises Hope

By Ashok Bindra, TMCnet Contributor

Market research firm ABI Research’s (News - Alert) newest findings in the wireless infrastructure equipment market show that revenues in this sector continued to drop. As a result, the second quarter (Q2) of 2012 was 4.7 percent below the first quarter (Q1), reaching only $11.2 billion.  However, in comparison to the same quarter last year, it was 14 percent down.

The ABI study shows that the total revenue for wireless network equipment reported by the vendors was the lowest since the third quarter of 2003 (Q3 2003). According to Nick Marshall, principal analyst of Networks, the latest numbers are the lowest in last 35 quarters.

With regards to vendors, the study shows that Ericsson’s (News - Alert) market share grew in the second quarter by 1.2 points to 25.5 percent to retain the number one spot. Likewise, Huawei’s market share grew by 2.9 points to solidify its second ranking in the marketplace. Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) came in at number three and four, respectively.

Meanwhile, for radio access network (RAN) equipment suppliers, LTE was the driver in this quarter. “Expenditures this quarter on LTE (News - Alert) RAN equipment were almost two times higher than in 1Q 2012 and four times higher than in 2Q 2011,” said Marshall.

ABI study shows that WCDMA technologies also grew by 14 percent this quarter and by 38 percent versus the year ago quarter.

Likewise, by comparison, RAN revenues were also higher in the Asia Pacific region. At $6.5 billion, the study indicates that RAN expenditures in Q2 2012 in the Asia Pacific region continued to be more than three times higher than in Western Europe or North America. However, expenditures in Asia Pacific dropped by 18 percent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) and almost 25 percent compared to the year ago quarter. In contrast, the report suggests that the North American RAN expenditures of $1.9 billion grew 15.6 percent QoQ in Q2 2012 and 47 percent versus Q2 2011.

ABI said that vendor revenues and market shares are tracked by the firm’s “macro base stations” market data.

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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