Geopolitics and OpenRAN

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By Dimitris Mavrakis | 1Q 2020 | IN-5765


Balkanization of the Market


The current geopolitical climate and the competition between China and the United States has distorted the telecoms market and created two parallel evolution paths: one in China, with Huawei and ZTE, and another in Europe, with Ericsson and Nokia driving developments. There is also Samsung and other smaller 4G and 5G infrastructure vendors, but the supply chain dominance of Ericsson, Huawei, and Nokia cannot be matched globally. These three are in fact Tier 0 vendors and most capable of meeting mobile operators’ requirements. This creates a problem: in the United States, where Huawei is blocked, only Ericsson and Nokia are viable vendors; of those, Nokia admitted to falling behind in terms of 5G technology evolution. This leaves the Western world in the hands of a single vendor, which is arguably a situation no mobile operator executive team would be interested in.

Furthermore, Huawei’s Research and Development (R&D) is unmatched in terms of manpower and several industry leaders claim that Huawei is well ahead of its competition. This again leaves the Western world at a d…

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