Ericsson loses ground to Nokia in Chinese 5G radio network

Ericsson loses ground to Nokia in Chinese 5G radio network

20 July 2021 | Natalie Bannerman

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Ericsson has been awarded an overall 2% market share of China's 5G network development.

The news follows the review of bids as part of China Mobile's centralized procurement (CP) process for its 5G 700MHz wireless network.

Other bidders and appointed vendors of the three 5G 700MHz wireless network contracts valued at approximately $6 billion include, Huawei; ZTE; Nokia Shanghai Bell, marking Nokia's first Chinese contract; Ericsson and Datang mobile communications equipment.

The first tender package for a 5G 700MHz macro base station saw Huawei win a 61.12% share, ZTE win a 28.77% share, Nokia Shanghai Bell win a 10.11% share.

The second standard package, also for a 5G 700MHz macro base station saw Huawei win a 58.89% share, ZTE win a 33.53% share and Datang mobile communications equipment win a 7.58% share.

The third and final standard package, also for a 5G 700MHz macro base station saw Huawei be awarded a 59.98% share, ZTE awarded a 30.44% share and Ericsson awarded a 9.58% share.

Ericsson's role in the new network falls out of line with earlier market guidance to its investors, and the company notes that it is "materially lower than the market share previously awarded to the company in the 2.6GHz CP2 (11%)".

"Given the context and based on the bidding rules, should Ericsson be awarded business in China Unicom and China Telecom we believe it would be in a similar range as with the China Mobile award," said the company in a statement.

Both China Unicom and China Telecom are due to announce the results of their respective 5G tenders in due course.

It is believed that the lower than expected market share from Ericsson is as a result of political decision by the Post and Telecommunication Authority, Sweden's telecoms regulator, to exclude Chinese vendors’ from the country's 5G auction over growing security concerns.