With a drawdown in operator capex set to become more pronounced in 2017, telecom vendors will struggle to post organic growth
According to TBR’s 4Q16 Telecom Vendor Benchmark, aggregate telecom operator capex continued to weaken, negatively affecting vendor revenue in most regions. Those with high exposure to the LTE RAN cycle, including Ericsson, Nokia and ZTE, suffered the steepest losses, a trend that will persist through 2017. Although nearly one-fifth of Huawei’s total revenue is driven by RAN sales to operators, the company’s Wireless business grew an estimated 20% year-to-year due to its ability to not only take share from incumbents in EMEA, CALA and Southeast Asia but also maintain high account share within China-based operators. However, with China’s three operators planning to reduce capex in 2017, Huawei, ZTE and Europe-based RAN suppliers will pursue opportunities outside China to offset the weaker spend.