Four vendors emerge as market leaders in mobile Packet Core equipment
The phenomenal growth in mobile broadband subscriptions worldwide has resulted in substantial re-engineering of mobile packet core elements. There are various vendors out in the market offering Packet Core products. Four of them stand out as market leaders. They include Huawei, Ericsson, NSN, and Starent.
According to the report ‘Mobile Packet Core Equipment’ published by iLocus today, there was a total Packet Core capacity shipment of 229.4 million SAU (Simultaneously Attached Users) shipped by vendors worldwide in 1H09. Huawei led the market during 1H09 having shipped estimated 95 million SAU capacity. Huawei market share lead of 41.4% was followed by Ericsson at number two with 23.2% share and NSN with 14% share.
With over a billion mobile broadband connections likely by 2014, the vendors are exploring ways to handle nearly 50 fold traffic increase. This dramatic increase in traffic has many implications for mobile broadband network and the associated equipment. In addressing the data growth, radio is the biggest bottleneck from efficiency perspective. Radio is also the biggest component from CAPEX and OPEX perspective. The second biggest bottleneck is SGSN/GGSN components i.e. the Mobile Packet Core elements. The high capacity mobile broadband packet core requires scalable, carrier grade Packet Core equipment able to provide a high throughput.
The challenge does not end there. Although mobile broadband subscriber base is growing at a rapid pace, the operators have been unable to translate that into proportionate revenue growth. There are certain other cost pressures on mobile operators. Regulatory bodes in Europe are forcing operators to reduce prices in areas such as roaming. At the same time shift to softswitches and NGN mean increased CAPEX which puts pressure on profitability. Customer acquisition costs have also gone up for the operators.
Apart from being able to achieve some cost reduction there are various other challenges that Packet Core equipment needs to solve. These include ability to offer differentiated services and QoS.
Report: Mobile Packet Core Equipment (Published 1st December 2009).
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