Huawei and ZTE increased their respective shares of the global telecoms infrastructure market in 2020 despite US trade restrictions, driven in part by China’s accelerated 5G deployment, data from Dell’Oro Group showed.

In a report, the research company placed Huawei’s share at 31 per cent, up 3 percentage points year-on-year, with ZTE up from 9 per cent in 2019 to 10 per cent.

This compared with Ericsson’s 1 percentage point gain to 15 per cent and Nokia’s 15 per cent (down from 16 per cent). Samsung’s share fell to 2 per cent from 3 per cent.

Looking at the RAN market excluding China, Dell’Oro’s data showed Huawei’s share fell from 22 per cent to 20 per cent, Ericsson’s rose by 2 percentage points to around 35 per cent, and Nokia held about a 25 per cent share (up 1 percentage point), The Wall Street Journal reported.

Global telecoms equipment revenue increased 7 per cent in 2020, growing at the fastest pace since 2011, Dell’Oro Group stated: it forecast growth of 3 per cent to 5 per cent in 2021.

US sanctions hit Huawei’s smartphone business: Gartner figures showed sales declined 41.1 per cent year-on-year in Q4 2020.

But its network equipment business has been mostly spared and actually increased in many regions due strong demand associated with Covid-19 (coronavirus).

Last month, founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei told staff profit and revenue rose in 2020 despite new challenges, with transactions, deliveries and supplies uninterrupted.

He noted, however, “we must dare to abandon some countries, some customers, some products”.