Ericsson holds slight lead over Huawei in mobile core market

As wireless operators around the globe prepare to deploy standalone 5G in the coming year they are investing in 5G mobile core architecture. According to a new report from the Dell’Oro Group, the mobile core network market revenue increased 14% year-over-year ending in third quarter 2019.

Dell’Oro also said that Ericsson is the top vendor in mobile core network during this period with 26% of the market share followed by Huawei with 25%, Nokia with 15%, ZTE with 10% and Cisco with 7%.

This increase in mobile operator investment in mobile core technology isn’t particularly surprising. U.S. operators AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have all indicated that they are planning to deploy standalone 5G in 2020 and 2021.

mobile core Dell'Oro graph

(Dell'Oro Group)

David Bolan, senior analyst at Dell ‘Oro Group, said that Ericsson saw strong results during this period because of those North American operators. “No one has deployed 5G standalone core yet,” he said. “But everyone is getting ready for it.”

Bolan noted that the Asia Pacific region accounted for 35% of the revenue in mobile core because many of the operators in that region are gearing up to launch 5G standalone technology.

“With over 50 service providers offering 5G service with the 5G NSA architecture, we expect 5G SA in 2020 with the 5G core,” Bolan said.

Bolan also noted that Cisco, in fifth place, has struggled to get deals beyond North America. However, he noted that Cisco did get a big win in mobile core with Rakuten Mobile in Japan. Rakuten Mobile plans to launch its commercial mobile network in April 2020.