In brief: As Huawei and Nokia face an uncertain future in 5G, Samsung is expanding its reach, one contract at a time. The Korean giant recently signed a new deal with Verizon to replace Nokia as a supplier of RAN equipment for 5G deployments.
Samsung this week won a 5G deal with Verizon that is valued at 7.9 trillion won ($6.7 billion) and will see the Korean tech giant become one of the largest telecom equipment suppliers in the world.
The move comes after ample rumors and speculation that the largest US carrier had been planning to replace Nokia with a different suppler for radio access network (RAN) equipment. The details are scarce, but the regulatory filing reveals that the contract is valid through December 2025, which works out to just over $1.2 billion per year.
However, companies like Verizon typically use more than one supplier to build out its network infrastructure, which is why Ericsson could be the silent winner here, while Nokia is losing one of its biggest customers. The Finnish telecom giant is stuck between a rock and a hard place, with China considering retaliatory measures against exports of Nokia equipment if European countries decide to ban Huawei from participating in ongoing 4G and 5G deployments.
Huawei is still the king of the global telecom equipment market, sitting at over 30 percent market share, if you go by Dell'Oro Group estimates. Ericsson and Nokia hold 25 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Samsung is the fourth-largest supplier with a 13 percent market share and is in a good position to make significant gains in the coming years, as the US is pushing more countries to restrict the installation of Huawei equipment.