The post‐peak RAN market will challenge vendors exposed to the wireless infrastructure market until 5G deployments ramp up in 2020 – which is why vendors are jockeying for position now to carve out market share in 5G early, says Technology Business Research (TBR).
According to TBR’s 4Q17 Telecom Vendor Benchmark, suppliers are targeting their install bases and key customers of rivals to sell 5G‐upgradeable infrastructure as well as 5G fixed wireless access equipment. Ericsson is being particularly aggressive in its pursuit of such deals, said TBR telecom senior analyst Michael Soper.
“In addition to pursuing early 5G contracts, vendors with incumbent positions in communications network hardware are trying to mitigate declines in their core businesses by increasing their exposure to software and pursuing opportunities in the IT domain,” he said.
Cisco, Nokia, Juniper and Ericsson are pursuing software expansion strategies to align with the market transition to cloud‐centric, software‐mediated network environments.
Cisco is making acquisitions, such as AppDynamics, to increase its recurring revenue base. Nokia’s software road map includes scaling its portfolio of network‐agnostic software, including analytics, which is better suited for a cloud‐native, cloud‐led world. Juniper is innovating to disaggregate its software from its hardware to align with webscale preferences. Ericsson is forgoing acquisitions while it focuses on restructuring, but it is retooling its software delivery process and significantly reducing the time between software upgrades.