NEC, Fujitsu ride open RAN wave - Mobile World Live

NEC, Fujitsu ride open RAN wave

03 MAY 2022
open RAN

Japan-based equipment vendors NEC and Fujitsu forecast double-digit gains in their 5G product lines in their current fiscal years as they take advantage of growing interest in open RAN and moves by operators to diversify their equipment vendors.

While highlighting worsening supply shortages leading to the postponements of sales and higher component prices, both last week issued numbers showing revenue growth in their respective fiscal years to 31 March.

Marc Einstein, chief analyst at Japan-based research company ITR, told Mobile World Live NEC and Fujitsu have capitalised on operators’ fear of being stuck in a vendor duopoly in many markets, with their open RAN products enticing operators including Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone Group, Telefonica and others.

NEC’s 5G revenue grew 60.7 per cent year-on-year to JPY67 billion ($515.7 million), with the domestic market accounting for the majority of sales.

In an earnings presentation, NEC revealed it worked on three commercial 5G projects during the fiscal year, with 16 ongoing trials and 20 prospects in the pipeline.

Investments to upgrade its product portfolio and global sales network increased 63 per cent to JPY36.5 billion.

NEC predicts revenue to increase 64 per cent to JPY110 billion in fiscal 2023, as it expands deployments in Europe and seeks new business in North America and Asia.

Einstein noted while NEC’s gains came from its domestic business, it made significant inroads overseas, particularly with tier-one European operators.

The vendor’s network products business grew 15.8 per cent in its fiscal 2021 to JPY232.9 billion, primarily driven by 5G base station sales in North America.

The company noted a 3.6 per cent impact on network revenue due to component supply delays and rising costs, factors which also negatively impacted Fujitsu’s overall revenue by JPY78 billion and operating profit JPY31 billion.

Total revenue was flat at JPY3.6 trillion and operating profit rose 11.4 per cent to JPY247.3 billion.

Fujitsu predicted network revenue will grow 17 per cent in the current fiscal year.

Einstein highlighted a radio equipment contract with US-based Dish Network as a major win in Fujitsu’s fiscal year because its market share even in the Japanese market is quite small.

“The prospects for the Japanese mobile infrastructure vendors is brighter than it has been in at least a decade,” he said adding there is also progress in their domestic private 5G markets.



Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

Read more