ABI Research named Mavenir, NEC and Nokia as market leading open RAN vendors and noted the Finnish vendor along with Ericsson have begun teaming with chipset and other equipment providers to expand their portfolios.

The analysis was based on criteria segmented across innovation and implementation clusters including R&D activities; O-RAN Alliance contributions; massive MIMO compatibility; recent momentum; product portfolio; geographical coverage; partnerships and memberships; trials and testing; energy efficiency commitments; and brownfield deployments.

Senior analyst Saqlain Ali stated Mavenir was the overall leader in the competitor ranking, taking the top spots for innovation and implementation, citing its end-to-end cloud-native software and hardware, along with O-RAN Alliance-compliant offerings as factors.

Ali said Mavenir had “made significant efforts to accelerate open RAN deployments in partnerships with other mobile, chipset vendors and cloud providers” to ensure its portfolio is suitable “for multi-vendor deployments”.

The analyst also cited a diverse customer base covering more than 300 operators across 120 countries.

ABI Research stated NEC ranked second for innovation and implementation, driven by its “unique innovations and implementations in the open RAN domain”.

It highlighted NEC’s work with Tier-1 operators, chipset and mobile vendors, along with backing for commercial brownfield deployments.

Nokia ranked third due to its overall contributions to O-RAN Alliance working groups, R&D investments and involvement in recent integration and testing developments with so-called hyperscale companies, cloud providers and operators. 

Ali stated all major mobile equipment vendors had begun collaborating with each other and chipset manufacturers to validate their open RAN portfolios in multi-vendor situations.

He asserted “new open RAN vendors” including Mavenir, NEC and Fujitsu are leading current deployments, but cautioned “mobile vendors are expected to face fierce competition in the next couple of years”.