Telecom equipment maker Ericsson today said it signed 10 commercial 5G deals and 42 ongoing 5G trials in 2018.
Huawei on January 24 said it already signed 30 5G commercial deals. Nokia is yet to reveal the number of 5G contracts with telecom operators.
Ericsson’s networks business grew partly due to a higher than anticipated activity level in North America driven by increased 5G demand among the US operators. Ericsson said strategic contracts and 5G field trials had a negative impact on operating margin in the quarter.
“We will continue to invest in 5G, automation and AI to create customer value. Even though costs related to strategic contracts and 5G field trials will impact margins short term, they will help reaching our targets for 2020 and 2022,” said Borje Ekholm, president and CEO of Ericsson, in a statement.
Ericsson’s R&D expenses excluding restructuring charges increased to SEK -10.4 (-10.1) billion due to increased 4G and 5G investments in networks business.
The market share of Ericsson RAN equipment rose to 29.4 percent for the first nine months of 2018 compared with 28.2 percent for the same period in 2017, according to Dell’Oro’s report from November 2018.