The global wireless infrastructure market shrank 10% in Q3 to $9 billion, mostly due to a slowdown in China’s 3G deployments, according to the Dell'Oro Group.
The vast bulk of China’s 3G rollout was completed in the first half of 2009, the research firm said. As a result, W-CDMA and CDMA base station shipments declined by double-digits quarter-on-quarter in Q3.
Dell'Oro senior analyst Scott Seigler said China's cutback on infrastructure spending had flow-on effects that affected the entire wireless equipment market.
“Each of the top five vendors experienced steep declines in base station shipments during the third quarter, due to their slower sales to China,” he said.
But the average selling price of wireless equipment rose even while shipment volumes fell, because a greater percentage was sold in developed countries where infrastructure sells for higher prices, Seigler added.
While 3G spending is likely to stay depressed for the rest of the year, Dell'Oro expects China Unicom and China Telecom to renew heavy investment in the infrastructure in 2010 as they expand their networks.