Huawei and Ericsson are the dominant forces in the evolved packet core (EPC) market, according to a recent report by Dell'Oro Group.
The two vendors' combined market share increased to more than 60% in the second quarter of this year. For the big picture, the EPC market revenue grew 4% quarter-over-quarter from the second quarter of last year, according to the report.
“In spite of the U.S. ban on ZTE, the EPC market revenue grew in the second quarter 2018,” said David Bolan, senior analyst at Dell’Oro Group, in a prepared statement. “Ericsson, Huawei, and Nokia increased their share in the quarter with quarter-over-quarter growth rates exceeding the average 4%.
"Growth in EPC is being fueled by the usual growth in LTE subscriber growth, data traffic growth driven by video, and the beginning stages of the migration to 5G. Most of the service providers launching their 5G networks at the end of 2018 and into 2019 will upgrade their EPC rather than invest in a new 5G core."
In the most recent second quarter, the Asia-Pacific region had the largest share of EPC session shipments followed by Europe, Middle East, and Africa, North America, and Latin America. Bolan said that North America was where most of the activity has been in preparing the EPC for 5G launches that could take place by the end of the year.
Bolan said that Huawei was particularly successful in the Asia-Pacific region where it was the top-ranked EPC vendor with more than twice the market share of Nokia and Ericsson, respectively.
In the first quarter of this year, top five EPC vendors were, in order, Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Cisco and ZTE.