Huawei's share increased from 28% for the whole of 2019 to 30% for the first three quarters of 2020, while ZTE, which had 9% of global share in 2019, increased its share to 11%.
Nokia fell back, from 16% to 15% for the same periods while Ericsson stayed static at 14%.
The fact that China has vastly outpaced the rest of the world in 5G rollouts could account for some of the gains made by the two Chinese firms. But both Ericsson and Nokia have also gained business in the same market.
Dell'Oro considered the overall telecommunications equipment market — broadband access, microwave and optical transport, mobile core & radio access network, SP router and carrier ethernet switch — and said there had been overall growth of 9% year-on-year for the third quarter and 5% year-on-year for the three quarters taken together.
Author Stefan Pongratz said analysis of the statistics indicated that revenue rankings remained stable between 2019 and the first three quarters of 2020, with Huawei, Nokia, Ericsson, ZTE, Cisco, Ciena and Samsung ranked as the top seven suppliers and accounting for more than 80% of the total.
But, Pongratz added, the share of revenue was affected by the state of 5G rollouts in markets that he described as highly concentrated.
The Dell'Oro group found that:
"following the 4% year-on-year decline during the first quarter of this year, the positive trends that characterised the second quarter extended into the third quarter, underpinned by strong growth in optical transport and multiple wireless segments including 5G RAN, 5G Core, and microwave mobile backhaul. Technology segments that were affected more materially by COVID-19 and the lockdowns during 1Q20 continued to stabilise in the quarter.
"Preliminary estimates indicate increasing mobile infrastructure and optical transport revenues offset declining investments in microwave transport and SP routers and carrier ethernet switches for the first three quarters of 2020.
"The overall telecom equipment market continued to appear disconnected from the underlying economy. While the on-going transition from 4G to 5G is helping to offset reduced capex in slower-to-adopt mobile broadband markets, we also attribute the disconnect to the growing importance of connectivity and the nature of this recession being different than in other downturns improving the visibility for the operators.
"With investments in China outpacing the overall market, we estimate Huawei and ZTE collectively gained about three percentage points of revenue share between 2019 and the first three quarters of 2020, together comprising more than 40% of the global telecom equipment market.
"The Dell’Oro analyst team has not made any material changes to the overall outlook and projects the total telecom equipment market to advance 5% to 6% in 2020 and 3% to 4% in 2021. Total telecom equipment revenues are projected to approach US$90 billion (A$121.1 billion) to US$95 billion in 2021."