With the large-scale construction of 5G infrastructure in 2020, the competition for global communications equipment manufacturers is becoming increasingly fierce.
On January 9, local time, Nokia issued a statement on its official website, announcing that it had signed 63 commercial 5G contracts worldwide.
Nokia said the 63 commercial contracts did not include other types of 5G agreements, such as paid network trials, pilots or demonstrations. Nokia said that if these agreements were included, the total number of 5G agreements would exceed 100.
Since 2019, Huawei, ZTE, and Ericsson have also shown their performance.
In mid-October last year, Huawei announced that the company had signed more than 60 5G commercial contracts with leading operators around the world and sent more than 400,000 5G Massive MIMO AAUs to the global market. By December, Huawei supported the launch of more than 35 5G commercial networks worldwide.
According to data released by ZTE last November, 35 5G commercial contracts were awarded at that time.
Looking at Ericsson, as of December 2019, Ericsson has signed 78 5G commercial agreements and contracts worldwide and has provided equipment for 24 officially operating 5G commercial networks.
Next, the competition for 5G contracts will continue. In the 5G era, Chinese companies have further improved their voice and entered key standards. With the start of 5G in 2020, competition among equipment vendors has become fierce.
At present, among the global telecommunications equipment manufacturers, the competition between European manufacturers and Chinese enterprises is the most intense. As a historic period for 5G commercial use in 2019, various companies have already begun to recruit.
Let’s look at Nokia who wants to borrow 5G, and its customers include AT & T, KDDI, Korea Telecom, LG Uplus, NTT Docomo, O2, SK Telecom, SoftBank Group, Sprint, STC, T-Mobile, Verizon, Vodafone Italy, and Zain Saudi. These operators are mainly from the United States, South Korea, Japan, and some European countries.
Nokia also stated that it is the only network (equipment) supplier selected by all four major carriers in the United States, all three leading carriers in South Korea, and all three major national carriers in Japan, and the company has more than 2,000 5G is an essential patent.
After selling its mobile phone business in the first two years, Nokia turned to 5G. Bhaskar Gorti, head of Nokia’s software business, said in a previous interview that the 5G cycle consists of several different parts. Nokia leads the industry in software development, IoT deployment, and wireless access.
Sweden’s Ericsson moved frequently last year. In the 5G market, Qatar telecom operator Ooredoo, Saudi Telecom STC, Russian operator Tele2, Spain Telecom, Danish telecommunications operator TDC, Swisscom, Korea Telecom, Vodafone, Italy TIM, and many other global operations Choose to cooperate with Ericsson.
At the same time, there is continuous cooperation in the Chinese market. On the one hand, it is working closely with domestic operators and terminal manufacturers; on the other hand, it has been exploring landing scenarios. For example, Ericsson opened a smart factory cooperation with Hexagon and Shandong Unicom in November last year.
Compared with the above two established enterprises, Huawei and ZTE have more complete 5G industrial chains and wider coverage. From chips, terminals, and systems, they have formed their own end-to-end 5G solutions. In addition to 5G base stations, terminal products of Huawei and ZTE have also been launched, including multiple 5G mobile phones and 5G CPE.
According to data released by Huawei, the shipments of Huawei’s 5G base station modules have increased by 300% from May 2019, from 100,000 in May to 400,000 at the end of October. In September, Huawei also pioneered the end-to-end delivery of the 5G Standalone independent networking model. Despite being blocked by the United States, Huawei said at the end of September that it had started producing 5G base stations without US parts. A Huawei insider told a 21st Century Business Herald reporter that Huawei is 2-3 years ahead in some core components of base stations.
At present, Huawei has launched 5G cooperation with many countries, including Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Monaco, France, Malaysia, Russia and so on.
ZTE’s market is also recovering, and it cooperates with operators such as Telefónica, Orange, WindTre, and Austrian Hutchison Drei. China’s huge domestic market is also opening. In 2020, China’s base stations will have hundreds of thousands of demand, and the global demand will reach millions.
5G reshapes the landscape of equipment vendors?
During the intergenerational replacement of 1G to 5G communications, the leading positions of equipment vendors have changed several times. How will the 5G era be shuffled?
In the 1G era, dominated by Motorola and AT & T in the United States; in the 2G era, European companies took the lead, and Ericsson and Nokia became giants; after the 3G and 4G era, Chinese companies began to rise and formed a pattern of Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, and ZTE. Huawei ranks first in terms of both revenue and profit. A domestic operator told a 21st Century Business Herald reporter that 5G equipment from Huawei, Nokia, ZTE, and Ericsson would all be purchased and in use.
The big change encountered in the communications market in 2019 is that the United States blocked Huawei’s technology, and Huawei resisted the first wave of attacks. Employees with Huawei’s operator business told 21st Century Business Herald that anyone who knows about Huawei’s related business will know that although it will be affected by the United States, Huawei can pass this level.
At present, the European market is still developing rapidly. Huawei told the 21st Century Business Herald that on December 14, 2019, Norwegian Telecom will continue to use the equipment of Chinese supplier Huawei in the construction of 5G networks; December 11 Recently, Huawei’s 5G equipment has been approved to enter the German market. It will provide 5G equipment and related technologies to Telefonica, one of Germany’s three major telecommunications operators, in the next few years. On December 3, Finnish telecommunications operator Elisa stated that it had been implemented in Helsinki. With the large-scale deployment of 5G, Huawei provides 5G equipment.
As some overseas markets of Huawei are restricted, Ericsson and Nokia will get some additional 5G opportunities.
Ericsson has been focusing on wireless networks. Last year, Ericsson raised its market expectations and sales target for 2020. However, due to its single business, Ericsson has been seriously affected by the wireless network investment cycle. In contrast, Nokia has lowered its profit forecast for 2020 because the company needs to invest more in 5G. Some analysts believe that Nokia is not fast enough.
In comparison, Huawei has invested the most in 5G R & D in the past ten years. Compared with Nokia and Ericsson, Huawei has ample R & D funds, which also helps it gain a leading edge in 5G R & D. After ZTE lifted the ban, research and development costs increased significantly. In order to gain more voice in 5G, ZTE has continuously strengthened research and development investment in 5G wireless, core network, bearer, access, chip, and other core technology areas.
It is worth noting that in addition to the top four, Samsung in South Korea is also weighting. Samsung hopes to enter the 5G market through software advantages, virtualization technology, network automation management technology, etc. In addition to the top four, Samsung also occupies a certain Share.
In the industry’s opinion, although Huawei and others will be affected by the sanctions in the past two years, Chinese companies will maintain their advantages over a long period of time.