The Most Important Network Infrastructure Providers Worldwide
This article is published in collaboration with Statista
by Florian Zandt
As IT technology has developed rapidly and grown towards mainstream implementation of 5G networks, the Internet of Things and cloud computing, so have the components facilitating network connections for service providers and enterprise users. According to Statista Market Insights projections, "hardware resources that enable wired and wireless network connectivity, communication, operations and management as well as access to the telecommunication network and the internet" will have a global worth of around $192 billion in 2023.
Most of this value is estimated to be tied up in service provider networks covering routers and switches, carrier IP telephony, broadband access and microwave transmission. When looking at who commands the biggest chunks of the market, one company outshines them all - although it's not without scrutiny.
With a market share of 27 percent in the network infrastructure segment, Huawei beat its European and U.S. competitors by margins of ten percent or more in 2020. The Chinese company has been at the forefront of developing robust 5G technology for some time, although some countries like the United States have instated export license bans, barred or strongly advised against the sale of Huawei smartphones and excluded the company from their plans to expand and build 5G network capability for fear of espionage by the Chinese government and allowing foreign agents access to critical infrastructure.
Among other key players in the network infrastructure market are U.S. telco giant Cisco and Motorola Solutions as well as NEC from Japan. Europe also makes the list with Nokia and Ericsson from Finland and Sweden, respectively. While the market shares might suggest otherwise, European telecommunications and network infrastructure providers face difficult times. On October 19, Nokia announced its plan to lay off 14,000 employees or 16 percent of its total workforce amid disappointing Q3 results, adding to the numerous tech companies firing large swathes of their workers in the past months. Ericsson, placing fourth in global market share, let go 8,500 employees in February and an additional 750 in July of this year.
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