Mavenir, NEC, and Nokia Named Market Leaders in ABI Research’s Open RAN Vendor Competitive Ranking

29 Nov 2023

The new Competitive Assessment by global technology intelligence firm ABI Research provides an in-depth and unbiased examination of eight Open RAN vendors. The in-depth analysis is based on ten criteria segmented across innovation and implementation clusters, including R&D activities, O-RAN Alliance contributions, support for mMIMO, recent momentum, product portfolio, geographical coverage, partnerships & memberships, PoCs/trials/testing, energy efficiency commitments and finally, brownfield deployments.

The mobile vendors evaluated and ranked are:

Market Leaders: Mavenir, NEC, Nokia
Mainstream: Fujitsu, Samsung, Ericsson, Rakuten Symphony, Parallel Wireless

“Mavenir ranked overall leader in the competitor ranking and earned the top spots for both innovation and implementation.  Mavenir has demonstrated its role as a leading Open RAN vendor due to its end-to-end cloud-native software and hardware and O-RAN Alliance-compliant solutions. Mavenir has made significant efforts to accelerate Open RAN deployments in partnerships with other mobile, chipset vendors, and cloud providers to validate its Open RAN portfolio for multi-vendor deployments. Mavenir’s customer base is diverse, with Mavenir serving 300+ CSPs in more than 120 countries,” explains Saqlain Ali, Senior Analyst at ABI Research.

NEC Corporation ranked as a leader, taking second place as the top innovator and top implementer due to its unique innovations and implementations in the Open RAN domain. NEC actively develops its Open RAN ecosystem by partnering with Tier-1 operators, chipset, and mobile vendors. NEC is among a few vendors supporting commercial brownfield Open RAN deployments. Nokia, the only incumbent vendor, ranked third for its overall contributions in the O-RAN Alliance Work Groups and investments related to Research and Development (R&D) activities and its active involvement in recent integration and testing developments with all major hyperscalers, cloud providers, and operators. 

Open RAN innovations, including disaggregation, open interfaces, and automation via RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC), play a pivotal role in helping the mobile industry to recover from market disruptions related to supply chain, geopolitics, and the energy crisis and explore new revenue streams. The Open RAN ecosystem and supply chain has started to establish, with several mobile operators (Vodafone, DISH, Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom, etc.) along with mobile vendors (Mavenir, NEC Corporation, Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung, Fujitsu, Parallel Wireless, Rakuten, etc.) starting small-scale commercial Open RAN deployments and preparing to launch large-scale Open RAN deployments.

In 2023, the industry has witnessed several announcements related to the Open RAN field trials, testing, and certifications. “While all major mobile vendors have started to collaborate with other mobile vendors and chipset vendors to validate their Open RAN portfolios in multi-vendor interoperability environment that is the key aspect in successful Open RAN deployment. It is noticed that new Open RAN vendors such as Mavenir, NEC, and Fujitsu are leading the current Open RAN deployments, and incumbent vendors, including Ericsson and Nokia, have started to join forces with chipset and other mobile vendors to expand their Open RAN ecosystem. However, mobile vendors are expected to face fierce competition in the next couple of years,” Ali concludes.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Open RAN Vendor Assessment competitive ranking report. This report is part of the company’s  5G, 6G and Open RAN research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights. Competitive Ranking reports offer a comprehensive analysis of implementation and innovation strategies to offer unparalleled insight into a company’s performance and standing compared to its competitors.

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