Ericsson is the No. 1 vendor in the evolved packet core (EPC) market. The Swedish company has a slight edge over Huawei, which is the No. 2 vendor, according to Dell’Oro Group. The research firm’s latest report says that the overall EPC market revenue increased four percent quarter-over-quarter in the second quarter of the year.
Ericsson and Huawei have a combined market share of more than 60 percent, but Ericsson has a slight edge over the Chinese vendor, according to David Bolan, senior analyst at Dell’Oro Group. Ericsson, Huawei, and Nokia all increased their share in the second quarter with quarter-over-quarter growth rates exceeding four percent, Bolan added.
The reason for the growth varied. Bolan said that EPC shipments were strong in some regions of the world — particularly Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, and Africa — because of the size of their networks, which serve a larger population than North America. Also, he noted that operators in India are aggressively adding more LTE subscribers. In particular, Reliance Jio is growing quickly. The greenfield operator has said it hopes to reach 400 million subscribers by the end of the year. Reliance Jio is using Samsung’s LTE EPC and RAN for its network and is building a network that is bigger in scale than AT&T and Verizon’s networks combined.
Bolan added that much of the EPC growth in North America is also attributed to service providers that are ramping up for their 5G launches, many of which will occur at the end of 2018 and into 2019. As part of that deployment, most service providers are upgrading their EPC rather than building a new 5G core.
Not surprisingly, Huawei gained the most share in the Asia Pacific region, where it has more than twice the market share of competitors Ericsson and Nokia.