Last Updated on April 2, 2021 by Henry John
The potentials of 5G technology got a lot of tech enthusiasts excited; it was generally welcomed to usher us into an amazing speed of mobile connectivity.
This potentials has always excited with the exception of the coronavirus conspiracy theory linking 5G technology to the pandemic.
Network operators deploying 5G suffered an infrastructural blow with the vandalism of 5G towers. And that’s about the “damaging” trend of 5G technology.
Major 5G infrastructure providers are battling against each other for a major share of the 5G infrastructure market valued at $784 million in 2019 and expected to reach $47.7 billion by 2027.
As the battle for the 5G infrastructure market share gets hotter in 2020, here are the major companies providing 5G infrastructures to network operators worldwide.
But before we dive into the list, let’s take a brief at what 5G infrastructures are.
What are 5G Infrastructures?
5G infrastructures are physical mediums through which the super-fast 5G wireless mobile connections are delivered to end-users. They can be either the equipment that sits at the core of cellular networks or within 5g towers such as radio hardware and base stations.
With this in mind, you should already figure out that 5G network carriers are not 5G infrastructure companies. Network carriers uses the 5G base stations and equipment supplied by 5G infrastructure companies to offer 5G services to their customers.
Top 5G Network Infrastructure Companies/Providers
Ericsson is a leader in the development of 5G network infrastructures and in its current market. Besides being the first 5G infrastructure company to launch live commercial 5G networks in four continents, most top 5G service providers uses Ericsson’s 5G radios and basebands.
Ericsson’s 5G infrastructure technological superiority, in addition to the fact that it is a European company gives it the technological and political advantage to dominate the 5G infrastructure market. This is in light of the alleged threat posed by deploying Huawei’s (or any other Chinese) base-level equipment globally.
The telecom infrastructure company currently have 31 live 5G networks in 17 countries and is by a wide-margin the leading foreign player in the Chinese 5G infrastructure market.
Huawei’s 5G network infrastructure is technologically advanced and on normal circumstances should be leading the global 5G infrastructure market, but you know the complications.
Nonetheless, Huawei is undoubtedly the leader of the 5G infrastructure market in its home country, China.
With more than 20% of the world internet users in China, the Chinese market alone is big enough to make Huawei one of the top 5G infrastructure providers if it exerts significant dominance like its doing.
However, Huawei has its eyes set on the global market, which will be a very hard nut to crack (very hard one) for political reasons obviously.
Huawei are into almost everything 5G including 5G routers, 5G chips, 5G mobile phones to 5G radios.
The company has recently emerged the runaway winner of recently awarded Chine 5G contracts worth billions of dollars, having won more than half of the contracts.
The South Korean Tech Giant are leaders in the drive to transition into 5G technology. Developing 5G chips, devices (phones and routers) and networking infrastructures with full force.
Samsung already leads worldwide in the memory chip and mobile phone market, and are leveraging their first mover advantage to lead the 5G infrastructure market.
The company currently dominants the South Korean 5G infrastructure market as expected and with Huawei out of contention in the US market, Samsung is enjoying an early dominance in the US.
It’s building on its dominant position in South Korea and US market to position itself for global dominance of the 5G infrastructure market, having led in Worldwide 5G subscribers count last year (2019).
The Head of Samsung’s network business division, Kim Young-Ki, said that “Samsung would capture more than 20% of the global 5G equipment market by 2020”. And they are on track to achieve this goal.
On the top of the ladder of the 5G infrastructure providers is Nokia: The wounded telecom infrastructure lion battling to regain a crown.
Nokia’s new CEO, Pekka Lundmark is faced with the challenge of winning the global 5G infrastructure supply race or at the very least seize a sizable portion.
The Finnish equipment maker has more than 3,000 registered patents for next generation networks and had declared 5G patents to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).
Nokia have landed over 40 5G contracts from operators in the US (AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile), China (although it received none the recent billion dollars contracts awarded recently), South Korea, Japan and Italy among others. The company is currently supplying 5G infrastructures to operators in the aforementioned countries.
Having won the 2018 Global 5G Infrastructure Technology Leadership Award, ZTE has an uphill task to regain their footing in the 5G infrastructure market while still recovering from the sanctions it faced from the US.
With other players knocking of their perch, home and abroad, the Chinese company is staging a comeback into a leading position in the global 5G infrastructure market, starting from its home country, China.
ZTE revived 28.7 per cent of the 5G infrastructure contracts awarded by state-owned Carrier, China Mobile worth billions of dollars. Although, Huawei received 57.2 per cent of the said contracts, with Ericsson (a foreign company) winning almost 12% of those contracts.
Like Huawei the US market is not one ZTE can dream of playing in significantly and globally, it has a huge mountain to climb.
ZTE will struggle to seize significant global market shares with competition from Ericsson and Samsung very strong and gaining more strength every passing day.
However, as long as chance is, ZTE has a chance to be a leading force in the 5G infrastructure market globally.