Samsung Electronics has emerged as the No. 1 player in the global 5G telecom equipment market. According to Dell’Oro, a global market research firm, Samsung posted a market share of 37 percent from the fourth quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year. Huawei came in second with 28 percent, followed by Ericsson with 27 percent and Nokia with 8 percent.
This ranking is totally different from that in the overall global telecom equipment market. According to market researcher IHS Markit, Huawei ranked first with a 31 percent share in the global telecom equipment last year. Samsung Electronics had a 6.6 percent share in the overall telecom equipment market.
Samsung Electronics had been an underdog in the telecom equipment market. But it emerged as the top player in the 5G market on the strength of massive investment in 5G technology. It also benefited from the U.S. sanctions on Huawei. The U.S. government has requested its allies not to introduce Huawei's 5G equipment for security reasons.
The three Korean mobile carriers succeeded in commercializing 5G services for the first time in the world in April. Samsung Electronics ranks first in the Korean telecom equipment market. It also signed contracts to supply 5G equipment to Verizon, AT&T and Sprint in the United States.
Samsung's technological prowess is also contributing to its expansion. It has 5G technology in all product lines, including network equipment, chipsets and smartphones.
Samsung Electronics has set the goal of achieving a 20 percent share of the entire global equipment market by the end of next year. To this end, it plans to supply 5G communication equipment in global markets including Japan. To this end, Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, has been making aggressive moves. He visited Tokyo on May 19 and had meetings with the management of NTT DoCoMo and KDDI, Japan's two leading mobile carriers. Recently, the company announced that it would supply US$2 billion worth of 5G telecom equipment to KDDI.
As 5G services are launched in a growing number of countries, competition among telecom equipment suppliers is expected to heat up. According to market research firm IBIS, the global 5G market is expected to reach US$37.8 billion next year.
First-placed Huawei has signed more than 50 5G equipment contracts worldwide including those with companies in Europe. It has shipped more than 200,000 5G base stations and plans to ship more than 600,000 base stations this year and more than 1.5 million pieces by the end of next year. The Chinese telecom equipment giant is also reportedly discussing the supply of 5G standalone (SA) equipment with the three Korean mobile carriers.