LightTrends Newsletter


As expected for 3Q23, the wireless infrastructure market remained in a funk!

November 2023

LightCounting & TÉRAL RESEARCH release 3Q23 Wireless Infrastructure Market Size, Share, and Forecast

“Once again, there is no surprise, the hangover from the 5G feast the wireless industry has been enjoying the past 3 years is lingering: 3Q23 declined 16% YoY and 8% sequentially; it was almost a carbon copy of the past 2 quarters. But we see some light at the end of this long tunnel,” said Stéphane Téral, Chief Analyst at LightCounting Market Research and Founder of TÉRAL RESEARCH.

This sustained declining pattern confirms our prediction that we have entered the post-peak era. While the U.S. market posted another steep drop, the strong 5G rollouts in China and India along with steady activity in the Middle East and Southeast Asia were not enough to keep the wireless infrastructure market out of decline. In this depressed market, 5G core and open vRAN were the only 2 categories that grew YoY.

Despite a weak quarter, Huawei kept its lead over Ericsson, who managed to increase its share. In the meantime, for the first time in the past 9 quarters, Nokia lost market share, so did Samsung for the third consecutive quarter. Finally, ZTE increased its share.

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 5G-Advanced upgrades needed to prepare networks for 6G. Given the ongoing 6G activity, we believe something labeled 6G will be deployed in 2028.

About the report:

Wireless Infrastructure quarterly report analyzes the wireless infrastructure market worldwide and covers 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G radio access network (RAN) and core network nodes. It presents historical data from 2016 to 2022 of quarterly market size and vendor market shares, and a detailed market forecast through 2028 for 2G/3G/4G/5G RAN, including open vRAN, and core networks (EPC, vEPC, and 5GC) for each region (North America, Europe Middle East Africa, Asia Pacific, Caribbean Latin America). The historical data accounts for the sales of more than 30 wireless infrastructure vendors, including vendors that shared confidential sales data with LightCounting and TÉRAL RESEARCH The market forecast is based on a model correlating wireless infrastructure vendor sales with 20 years of service provider network rollout pattern analysis and upgrade and expansion plans.

The report is available for download by our clients.

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