Huawei overtakes NSN in mobile network sales

Caroline Gabriel/Rethink Wireless
18 Nov 2009

Huawei continues to storm up the mobile infrastructure league tables, overtaking Nokia Siemens in the third quarter, just as it did Alcatel-Lucent in the first, to end up second only to Ericsson.

The change in the mobile equipment line-up, as calculated by research group dell'Oro, was announced on the day that Ericsson finalized its acquisition of virtually all the assets of Nortel's CDMA and LTE businesses (minus some patents), making north America its biggest region by sales and second largest by employee numbers.

This reinforces the geographic contrast between the big two, with Huawei still knocking on the door of the tier one US carriers, and facing political obstructions in India, but challenging Ericsson in Europe and Africa, and ahead in China.

As well as technology, Ericsson gains 2,500 employees from Nortel (making the firm's north American payroll 14,000 in number), plus contract transfers from Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular, Bell Canada, Telus and Leap.

This will help to widen the gap with Huawei again when the next set of infrastructure figures is calculated, but in the meantime, the Swedish leader saw its market share flat in Q3, though still dominant at 32%.

By contrast, Huawei's share almost doubled to 20%, up from 11% a year earlier and 15% in Q1.

Nokia Siemens lost its number two position as its own share fell from 24% a year before to almost 20%, fractionally below Huawei. Following NSN's awful third quarter results, co-parent Nokia said it expected the joint venture's market share to decline by more than previously expected in 2009 as a whole.

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