Telecommunications infrastructure and equipment refers to any hardware used for telecommunication purposes. It includes a wide range of communication technologies, from transmission lines and communication satellites to radios and answering machines. Examples of telecommunications equipment include switches, telecom towers, fiber-optic cables, routers, voice over internet protocol (VoIP), and smartphones.
Huawei, Cisco, Nokia, and Qualcomm rank as the leading telecom infrastructure companies worldwide. Cisco is the leading Ethernet switch vendor, with around 50 percent of the market. Ethernet switches are an important and profitable part of the industry, as they are an integral part of IT infrastructure. They are used to receive, process, and transmit data between two devices connected by a physical layer. Cisco is also the leading vendor of enterprise WLAN, accounting for around 40 percent of the global market. HPE/Aruba, Ubiquiti, and Huawei are also important vendors of enterprise WLAN worldwide.
While telecommunications infrastructure is often associated with the major telco operators, telecommunications equipment also extends to the consumer side of the market in the form of smartphones and other private equipment such as modems. Smartphone shipments worldwide are projected to add up to around 1.38 billion units in 2021. Within such devices, a mobile application processor, also known as a system on a chip (SoC), is hardware designed to support the applications running in a mobile operating system environment. In the smartphone processor market, Qualcomm is a leader, and even more so in 5G-enabled devices, accounting for around 30 percent of 5G smartphone SoC shipments in 2021.
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