The global market for LTE RAN equipment surged nearly 60% in the third quarter, but the overall RAN market declined around 1% year-on-year, according to Dell'Oro.
The research firm estimates that RAN revenue declined in Q3 after three consecutive quarters of growth.
Dell'Oro director of mobile RAN research Stefan Pongratz said solid growth in demand for LTE almost – but not quite – offset the shrinking demand for older RAN technologies in Q3.
“Even though growth is slowing down in some of the more advanced mobile broadband markets, we are now seeing great demand for LTE in other markets, particularly Europe, with LTE RAN revenues more than doubling year-over-year,” he said.
The market slump is expected to be temporary – Dell'Oro predicts that the total market will grow in 2014, with growth in China offsetting declines in the US and Japan.
Ericsson maintained a dominant position in the LTE RAN market during the third quarter, with a roughly 15 point market share lead over second-ranked Huawei. Alcatel-Lucent meanwhile passed NSN to take the number three spot by revenue share.