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Huawei and ZTE cause major shakeup in mobile infrastructure market


Campbell, CALIFORNIA, June 30, 2009—Market research firm Infonetics Research released the 1Q09 edition of its Mobile Infrastructure and Subscribers market share and forecast report. Highlights from the market research report follow.

The mobile infrastructure market was marked in the first quarter of 2009 by steep declines across the board except for W-CDMA and packet core equipment, strong 3G rollouts in China, and a major vendor shakeout. Between China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom, a total of 59,000 3G base transceiver stations (BTS) were deployed in China alone in 1Q09, helping Huawei and ZTE gain significant share at the expense of most of the other major players in the RAN equipment market. Huawei is now the size of Alcatel-Lucent in this segment, and ZTE doubled its RAN revenue market share over just the last 4 quarters, solidifying its spot on the top 5 vendor leaderboard,” Stéphane Téral, Infonetics Research’s Principal Analyst for Mobile and FMC Infrastructure.


  • Ericsson increased its revenue market share in 1Q09, retaining the top spot for macrocell RAN equipment
  • W-CDMA vendor revenue increased 8% between 4Q08 and 1Q09, and is up 61% year-over-year, mainly due to China’s 3G rollouts and smartphone- and data card-driven upgrades in North America and Europe
  • Despite the global economic turmoil, mobile packet core and mobile softswitching (soft MSC and wireless media gateway) deployments continue to be the brightest spots of the mobile infrastructure market, driven by an unstoppable migration to IP networks
  • Worldwide home location register (HLR) revenue dropped 21% in 1Q09, typical for a first quarter but exacerbated by the GSM pause
  • Mobile subscriber growth continues unabated, led by China and India, which together add well over 100 million new mobile subscribers per year; Africa has become a strong contributor as well


Infonetics’ mobile infrastructure and subscribers report provides worldwide and regional market size, market share, analysis, and forecasts through 2013 for RAN equipment (BTS and BSC by technology), mobile switching subsystem equipment by technology (mobile switching center, soft MSCs, wireless media gateways), mobile packet core network equipment (GPRS gateway support nodes, serving GPRS support nodes, packet data serving nodes), HLR equipment, and mobile subscribers by technology. Technologies tracked include GSM, W-CDMA, CDMA, CDMA2000, TD-SCDMA, and microcell/picocell.

Companies tracked in the mobile infrastructure report include Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, GENBAND, HP, Huawei, Motorola, Nokia Siemens, Nortel, Starent, ZTE, and others.

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Infonetics Research ( is an international market research and consulting firm serving the communications industry since 1990. A leader in defining and tracking emerging and established technologies in all world regions, Infonetics helps clients plan, strategize, and compete more effectively.

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"W-CDMA vendor revenue increased 8% between 4Q08 and 1Q09, and is up 61% year-over-year, mainly due to China’s 3G rollouts."

Stéphane Téral
Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research
Mobile Infrastructure and Subscribers