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Nokia’s crisis – just the latest step to make the supply chain unrecognizable

The mobile equipment supply chain is almost unrecognizable from the days of 3G. There has been huge consolidation as vendors have sought economies of scale, with the disappearance of Nortel, Motorola Networks, Alcatel-Lucent and others from the cellular market. The entry of Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE was a major factor in that, increasing competition and changing pricing structures so that vendors needed greater scale and reach to survive. Vodafone’s decision to make Huawei an approved global supplier in 2005 was a catalyst for change on a par with the same operator’s pledge, last year, to offer its whole European footprint of 110,000 sites to tender based on open RAN platforms. That open RAN-based request for quotes (RFQ) was symbolic…

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