Telecommunications equipment (also telecoms equipment or communications equipment) is hardware used for the purposes of telecommunications. Since the 1990s the boundary between telecoms equipment and IT hardware has become blurred as a result of the growth of the internet and its increasing role in the transfer of telecoms data.
Telecommunications equipment can be broadly broken down into the following categories:
- Public switching equipment
- Analogue switches
- Digital switches
- Transmission equipment
- Customer premises equipment
The world's four largest telecommunications equipment (excluding mobile phone handsets) vendors measured by applicable 2013 revenues are:
The world's five largest router and switch vendors measured by applicable revenues in the second quarter of 2013 are:
The world's 10 largest mobile phone handset vendors measured by unit sales in the second quarter of 2013 are (global market share shown in parentheses):
- Samsung (24.7%)
- Microsoft Mobile (14.0%)
- Apple (7.3%)
- LG Electronics (3.9%)
- ZTE (3.5%)
- Huawei (2.6%)
- Lenovo (2.5%)
- TCL (2.3%)
- Sony Mobile Communications (2.2%)
- Yulong (1.8%)
As of 2014 many of the largest telecoms networking equipment vendors are struggling financially due to over supply, rising market share of China-based vendors, and declining revenues for 2G and 3G networks not being fully offset by the growing market for 4G equipment.
Used telecommunications equipment
As telecommunications equipment technology rapidly evolves, operators are being forced to look at used and refurbished telecommunications equipment for alternative, cheaper options to maintain their networks. The used telecommunications market has expanded rapidly in the last decade with used and refurbished equipment offering cheaper equipment supply, offering legacy and end of life equipment being refurbished to support platforms already being used by global telecom operators. As equipment is discontinued, operators and end users often look for sparing as parts become harder to source.
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