Maravedis-Rethink Imago: Vendor rankings

Maravedis-Rethink
26 Mar 2013
00:00

These are the first outputs from our Imago offering, which ranks vendors in various key infrastructure categories. A combination of quantitative and qualitative measures are used with different weighting for each. The overall rankings are based on product innovation (R&D investment, unique features, range of features, market window) and market impact (market share, channels to market, access to carriers, marketing strength).

The two main changes in how the new LTE RAN will be designed are the use of small cells and of distributed macrocells. In our first two Imago vendor rankings, we find that Alcatel-Lucent and Samsung are best placed to build market share in public access metrocells, though Ubiquisys rates most highly for product innovation. Meanwhile, Ericsson has trailed in the small cell trend, but its market impact is unrivalled in LTE macrocells, even though rivals like ALU and Samsung have been stronger product innovators.

Overall conclusion summary:

The two main changes in the LTE RAN are the rise of small cells and of distributed macrocells. These techniques will sometimes be used in parallel, but they are driven by different vendors and network philosophies. In our rankings, metrocells are defined as compact small cell base stations for public access (indoor or outdoor). The vendors are rated on the access point itself plus the surrounding gateway/platform (some of the actual hardware is badged). Distributed RAN includes macrocells with remote radio heads, antenna/integrated radios, and/or cloud RAN.

Metrocells:

Product innovation

Market impact

Overall ranking

Ubiquisys

1

8

3

ALU

2

1

1

Samsung

3

2

2

NEC

4

7

5

NSN

5

3

4

Ip.access

6

10

7

Cisco

7

5

6

ZTE

8

9

9

Huawei

9

4

8

Ericsson

10

6

10

In product innovation, we rate Ubiquisys and Alcatel-Lucent to have contributed most in the first stage of the market. Ubiquisys has pioneered many metrocell technologies such as Smart Cell (with Intel) and self-organizing networks (SON), and its platform, we believe, will be widely used in future by partners. ALU disrupted the industry with lightRadio, a distributed RAN platform, but quickly introduced small cells to the picture too. In terms of market impact (early market share and ability to grow this in future), ALU and Samsung are the leaders, thanks to some large small cell contracts with very early moving carriers, and the channels to expand on that in the near future. Ericsson is well behind the market in terms of delivering a product, but it cannot be ruled out once it decides to move in earnest because of its channels and carrier influence.

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