While small, the deal is a positive sign for Ericsson, which has previously warned of market share loss in China
Ericsson has reportedly won a 3% share in a joint 5G radio contract from China Telecom and China Unicom. While small, the deal is a positive sign for the Swedish company, which has previous warned of market share loss in China as a result of Sweden’s ban on Chinese 5G equipment vendors.
Ericsson’s sales in mainland China dropped 60% from in Q2 2020 to Q2 2021, and then, in July, Nokia scored a 5G RAN deal with China Mobile, causing Ericsson to lose further ground in the country.
Through three contracts, China Mobile aims to purchase approximately 480,000 5G base stations to expand its 5G footprint. The new network infrastructure will be shared between China Mobile and China Broadcasting Network, which was established as a new mobile operator last year.
Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE took the lion’s share of the contracts, with Huawei securing 61% of the first contract, 59% of the second contract and 58% of the third and ZTE awarded 33.5%, 30% and 29% of the contract, respectively. Meanwhile, Nokia got a 10.1% share in one of the three contracts and Ericsson secured a share of only 9.6% of another contract.
“Given the context and based on the bidding rules, should Ericsson be awarded business in China Unicom and China Telecom we believe it would be in a similar range as with the China Mobile award,” the Ericsson said at the time, warning that smaller market shares were to be expected.
According to its website, Ericsson has 143 commercial 5G agreements, 81 publicly announced 5G contracts and is involved in 93 live 5G networks.
Chinese operators are moving quickly towards 5G, having already deployed a total of 916,000 5G base stations, accounting for 70% of the world’s total.