Preliminary Dell’Oro Group data indicated Huawei maintained its lead as the top global telecom equipment company by revenue in 2023, despite efforts by the US government and other countries to limit its addressable market and access to the latest chip silicon.

The research company noted Huawei’s share of global revenue widened to 30 per cent in 2023 compared with 28 per cent in 2022.

Nokia’s share was flat at 15 per cent while Ericsson’s fell from 15 per cent in 2022 to 14 per cent. 

ZTE was fourth overall, with its share flat at 11 per cent, and Cisco increased its proportion from 5 per cent to 6 per cent.

Dell’Oro Group tracks telecom revenue across broadband access; microwave; optical transport; mobile core network; RAN; and service provider router and switch.

It stated preliminary figures show overall sales fell 5 per cent in 2023, “worse than expected”.

The telecom equipment sector enjoyed five consecutive years of growth and stable trends, including up to the end of H1 2023, but began to decrease in H2 2023, which the research company partially attributed to “challenging comparisons in some of the advanced 5G markets” and a “slow transition towards standalone” next-generation networks.

By region, North America telecom equipment revenue declined 20 per cent, “faster than expected” due to weak activity in RAN and broadband access.

Excluding North America, global revenue grew “as positive developments in the Asia Pacific region were mostly sufficient to offset weaker growth across Europe”.

Dell’Oro Group added disruption related to Covid-19 (coronavirus) hoarding and an ongoing supply chain crisis contributed to regional and technology trends.

It predicted market conditions would “remain challenging in 2024″ albeit with a “less severe” drop than 2023.