Nokia Siemens Networks tops basestation rating
April 09, 2012 // Nick Flaherty
Nokia Siemens Networks has been ranked at the top of the latest 2012 LTE Base Station Vendor Matrix from ABI Research.
Huawei and Ericsson claimed the second and third spots while Alcatel-Lucent came in fourth in the company’s most recent evaluation of worldwide LTE base station vendors. This matrix primarily covers the competitiveness of vendors that provide LTE base stations for wireless radio access networks.
Nokia Siemens Networks takes the top spot with its continued momentum in attracting commercial contracts, contributions to essential IP for LTE, and its initiatives in small cells. “Nokia Siemens Networks was number one in our implementation score on the back of their impressive number of LTE/RAN contract wins and they were also number one in our score for innovation thanks to the extension of their Liquid Radio roadmap to now encompass Flexi Zone,” said Nick Marshall, principal analyst for networks at ABI.
At the end of 2011 LTE deployments are gaining momentum in mutiple regions of the world. Infrastructure vendors now all have commercial LTE portfolio offerings for the service providers. Although it is difficult, without direct input from each of the OEMs, to size a vendor as a leader in LTE RAN solely based on contract wins and deployments, innovation factors as well as other implementation criteria have been considered in the vendor matrix.
“Ericsson and Huawei were a very close number two and number three in our innovation and implementation scores thanks to their contributions to essential IP for LTE and continued market share gains, and compared to our previous vendor matrix we believe Huawei and Ericsson are closing the gap on Nokia Siemens Networks,” said Marshall.
The vendor matrix is an analytical tool developed by ABI Research to provide a clear understanding of vendors’ positions in specific markets. Vendors are assessed on the important parameters of “innovation” and “implementation” across several criteria unique to each vendor matrix.
For infrastructure vendors, a large deployment contract win in a country like China is not comparable to smaller multiple LTE contract wins in less-populated countries. Large deployments play a key part in the development of a base station market leader, as well as for the standard.
Partnerships outside of the service provider arena are vital. Establishing relationships with chipset vendors, device vendors, and application developers are important for reliable infrastructure products and interoperability, as well as the continued work on the standard. This is particularly applicable in finding and fixing any initial issues that may arise. These relationships bring an additional dimension to the infrastructure vendor's product offering.
Relationships between competing base station infrastructure vendors are important, mainly for the further development of LTE, as well as for interoperability between base stations from different vendors. This adds value and more flexibility to their base station lineups that may attract certain vendors.
Flexibility in providing a full end-to-end solution, from the Radio Access Network (RAN) to the core network is important, and gives the infrastructure vendor a complete integration of solutions. This has the most appeal to smaller service providers that do not have the manpower or experience in deploying, maintaining, and understanding the end-to-end solutions of a brand new all-IP network standard.
Research and development in TD-LTE, small cell base stations, multi-standard and self-organizing networks, and the features included within these aspects, show vendors’ innovation investment, and their long-term goals and efforts in driving their portfolios of LTE solutions as well as the standard itself.
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