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Forecast: Telecom equipment market up 1% in 2020

June 4, 2020

Cisco, Huawei, and Nokia’s revenue shares for the overall telecom equipment market declined in Q1 2020 relative to full-year 2019 revenue shares according to a Dell’Oro Group report.

Stefan Pongratz, VP and Analyst at Dell’Oro Group, commented: “We just wrapped up the 1Q20 reporting period for all the Telecommunications Infrastructure programmes covered at Dell’Oro Group. Preliminary estimates suggest the overall telecom equipment market – Broadband Access, Microwave & Optical Transport, Mobile Core & Radio Access Network, SP Router & CE Switch – declined 4 per cent year-over-year (Y/Y), tracking slightly below the full-year 2020 growth projections of 1 per cent.”

Preliminary estimates suggest Q1 2020 revenue shares relative to 2019 revenue shares for the top five suppliers – the latter indicated herein parenthesis – show that Huawei, Nokia, Ericsson, ZTE, and Cisco comprised 28 per cent (29 per cent), 15 per cent (16 per cent), 14 per cent (14 per cent), 11 per cent (10 per cent), 6 per cent (7 per cent), respectively.

Additional key takeaways from the Q1 reporting period include:

– Following two years of consecutive growth in 2018 and 2019, the overall telecom equipment market started the year on a weaker note, reflecting mixed market conditions as the positive market sentiment with mobile-related segments, including RAN and Core, was not enough to offset reduced demand for Broadband Access, Routers and CE Switch, and Optical/Microwave Transport.

– While healthy end-user fundamentals and positive 5G momentum outweighed downward risks associated with the Covid-19 pandemic for both RAN and Core investments, the pandemic had a more material impact on some of the non-wireless related segments, driven partly by supply chain disruptions and weakened demand as a result of increased macroeconomic uncertainty.

– Within the technology segments, Mobile RAN and Core revenues together advanced at a single-digit rate, accounting for nearly half of the overall telecom equipment market during Q1. At the same time, the combined revenues for Broadband Access, Microwave Transport, and Routers and CE Switch declined at a double-digit pace Y/Y, accounting for about a third of the overall market.

– In contrast to previous recessions, the Covid-19 slowdown is shifting and transforming the way we use the network. But a shift in how users are consuming data doesn’t necessarily result in a corresponding increase in spending on new infrastructure to support that traffic growth. Some suppliers and service providers indicated that network capacity upgrades were required to accommodate data traffic growth, however, traffic surges did not lead to significant demand for network capacity upgrades across all the telecom equipment segments.

– Even though the pandemic is still inflicting high human and economic losses, the Dell’Oro analyst team collectively expect market conditions and supply chain risks to be more favourable in the second half of 2020, propelling the overall telecom equipment market to advance 1 per cent in 2020, reflecting a downward revision from the previous 2 per cent growth outlook.

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