Wireless infrastructure equipment revenues continued their downward trend in the second quarter of 2012 reaching only $11.2 billion – a 4.7 percent decrease from the first quarter of 2012 and a 14 percent decrease from the same quarter one year ago. “Total revenues for wireless network equipment reported by the vendors was the lowest amount that we have seen since 3Q 2003; reaching a 35 quarter low,” says Nick Marshall, principal analyst, networks.

In the second quarter Ericsson’s market share grew 1.2 points to 25.5 percent to retain the #1 spot while Huawei’s market share grew 2.9 points to solidify its #2 rank in market share. Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent were #3 and #4 respectively.

For RAN equipment the highlight this quarter was to be found in LTE. “Expenditures this quarter on LTE RAN equipment were almost 2 times higher than in Q1 2012 and 4 times higher than in Q2 2011,” continues Marshall. WCDMA technologies also grew by 14 percent this quarter and by 38 percent versus the year ago quarter.

RAN expenditures in Q2 2012 in the Asia Pacific region at $6.5 billion continued to be more than 3 times higher than in Western Europe or North America. However, expenditures in Asia Pacific dropped by 18 percent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) and almost 25 percent compared to the year ago quarter. In contrast North American RAN expenditures of almost $1.9 billion grew 15.6 percent QoQ in Q2 2012 and 47 percent versus Q2 2011.

Vendor revenues and market shares are tracked by ABI Research’s “Macro Base Stations” market data. This quarterly market data report tracks base station deployments by technology, region, and country. The data also includes forecasts for new deployments, upgrades, and replacements annually through 2017, as well as operator base station spend estimates.

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Macro Basestations Research Service which includes additional Competitive Analyses, Vendor Matrices, Market Data, and Insights.