Even with several countries—including the U.S.—expressing security concerns over using its telecom gear, Huawei continued to flourish last year.
According to a recent report by Dell'Oro Group, Huawei's revenue share has gained about 2 percentage points in each of the last five years. Huawei pulled in a 29% share of the telecom equipment market last year, increasing its market share by eight percentage points since 2013.
By contrast, Huawei rivals Nokia's and Ericsson's market shares declined about 1 percentage point annually over the same time frame until last year when both posted relatively flat market shares.
ZTE, China's other major telecommunications vendor, dropped 2 percentage points last year mainly due to the Trump administration's ban that caused it to shut down sectors of its business during the second quarter.
The top vendors in 2018 for the worldwide telecom equipment market were: Huawei, Nokia, Ericsson, Cisco, ZTE, Ciena and Samsung. Dell'Oro said those seven vendors accounted for about 80% of the worldwide service equipment market revenue.
After a three-year slide, the overall telecom equipment market grew 1% year-over-year in 2018. Dell'Oro said the slight turnaround was due to higher demand for broadband access, optical transport, microwave and mobile RAN. The other sectors—carrier IP telephony, wireless packet core, service provider router, and Carrier Ethernet switches—were down last year.
The two biggest equipment markets last year were mobile RAN, which was pushed in part by the acceleration of 5G, and optical transport.
The worldwide optical transport market continued to grow for a fourth consecutive year driven by strong sales of DWDM equipment in China and large internet content providers for data center interconnections.