Mobile World Live delivers our top three picks of the week, with Ericsson and Nokia hitting earnings speed bumps while cautioning about low operator investment levels in 2024. Meanwhile, Apple opened the door to its App Store to comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act.

Nokia chief braced for continued RAN market woe

What happened: Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark warned the company was yet to see any concrete signs of operator investments in mobile networks improving following a tough 2023, as the vendor booked drops in revenue and profit in Q4.

Why it matters: During the quarter, Nokia was hit with the news customer AT&T had signed-up with rival Ericsson for a massive open RAN project, slashed long-term profit targets across the business and started a fresh cost-cutting programme.

“Nokia is doing the right things in terms of further cost cuts but is now fighting back from an even deeper hole than anticipated in December,” Citi analyst Andrew Gardiner noted.

Ericsson warns low operator 5G spend is not sustainable

What happened: Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm used the company’s latest earnings release to caution of further market decline outside China in 2024, with uncertainties of 2023 expected to continue, while bemoaning current unsustainably-low operator investment levels.

Why it matters: The CEO explained the mobile network industry remains challenging and it expects a further decline of RAN market outside China in 2024.

Apple opens up App Store to appease EU regulators

What happened: Apple announced historic changes for its iOS and App Store offerings across the European Union, in a bid to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) antitrust rules that go into effect in March.

Why it matters: Apple has long faced criticism about the walled garden approach for its App Store, while developers have complained about the high commissions they’re required to pay the company.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, whose company has fought a heated legal battle against Apple’s walled garden approach, called its App Store announcement “hot garbage” on X.