LightTrends Newsletter

The wireless infrastructure market was unsurprisingly down both YoY and sequentially in 2Q23

August 2023

LightCounting & TÉRAL RESEARCH release 2Q23 Wireless Infrastructure Market Size, Share, and Forecast

As anticipated, it was almost a carbon copy of 1Q23. This sustained declining pattern confirms our prediction that we have entered the post-peak era. While the U.S. market posted its steepest drop, the strong 5G rollouts in China and India along with steady activity in EMEA and Southeast Asia were not enough to keep the wireless infrastructure market out of decline. On the open vRAN front, DISH in the U.S., Rakuten Mobile in Japan, and a few Rakuten Symphony customers failed to produce sequential growth for the market but did create double digit YoY growth. Meanwhile, the mobile packet core market was the only category that grew sequentially.

Despite a weak quarter, Huawei extended its lead over Ericsson, which managed to keep its share stable. In the meantime, once again, Nokia gained market share at the expense of the Japanese vendors. Samsung lost share while ZTE’s remained stable.

“The vibrant secondhand market for 4G and 5G equipment coming from the removal of the Chinese vendors banned in specific countries is not helping either, and that is here to stay and will contribute to the downward trend. In fact, what was supposed to be a boon for Ericsson and Nokia in particular is at this point negatively affecting the short-term market in pockets of EMEA and CALA,” said Stéphane Téral, Chief Analyst at LightCounting Market Research and Founder of TÉRAL RESEARCH.

As a result, this year, we expect the market to decline over 2022 with India in the 5G driver’s seat. In the long run, our service provider 20-year wireless infrastructure footprint pattern analysis points to a 2022-2028 CAGR of -3% characterized by low single-digit declines through 2027, which appears to be the bottom leading to flatness or slight growth in 2028. In fact, we expect 5G to slightly pick up in 2027, driven by upgrades needed to prepare networks for 6G. Given the ongoing 6G activity, we believe something labeled 6G will be deployed in 2028.

The 2Q23 Wireless Infrastructure report is available for download by our clients.

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