Wireless equipment vendors performed well in the fourth quarter of 2011. While finishing strong in the last quarter of every calendar year is typical for vendors in this market, Huawei exceeded expectations and overcame Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) to grab second place in the market. As usual, Ericsson was the market leader, with approximately US$3.5 billion in wireless network equipment sales during 4Q2011.

“Huawei had an exceptionally good fourth quarter,” says practice director, mobile networks, Aditya Kaul. “Preliminary quarterly results of US$2.53 billion for wireless networks were up 54 percent quarter-on-quarter and 38 percent year-on-year. As a result, Huawei grabbed second place from NSN in wireless network equipment market share for the fourth quarter of 2011.” NSN achieved US$2.4 billion in wireless equipment sales during 4Q2011.

The fourth quarter in 2011 was not as strong as it has been in previous years, despite it being the best quarter of 2011 for the majority of wireless equipment. “In general, fourth quarter 2011 revenues were down year-on-year from fourth quarter 2010,” says Jim Eller, principal analyst, wireless infrastructure. “Wireless network operators did not spend as much in the fourth quarter as they have in past years, presumably taking a cautious approach due to uncertainty of the macroeconomic situation.”

ABI Research’s study, “Wireless Infrastructure Market Data,” tracks base station deployments by technology, region, and country. The study also forecasts new deployments, upgrades, and replacements annually through 2017, as well as operator base station spend estimates. 

This quarterly market data report is included in ABI Research’s Radio Access Networks Research Service.