Huawei Technologies doubled its market share in the mobile network infrastructure market in the first quarter of 2009.

The Chinese company’s success comes as domestic mobile operators prepare to spend over USD $20 billion this year on rolling out the initial phases of China’s 3G deployments.

This has led to a record number of 3G base station shipments.

However, while Huawei now occupies third position in the market, there appears to be little sign of cheer asides from the activity in China.

A quarterly market report from Dell’Oro said the global mobile infrastructure market contracted by nine per cent in January-March compared to the same period a year ago.

It said the GSM market experienced its largest year-over-year decline and without China’s 3G tenders in WCDMA and CDMA base station deployments, the market would have fallen further.

Scott Siegler, senior analyst at Dell’Oro Group, said China Unicom’s WCDMA deployment is shaping up to be the single largest 3G deployment in history.

He said it was the primary contributor to the most ever – 100 thousand – Node B shipments in the quarter.

"With the CDMA market declining elsewhere around the world, China Telecom’s spending resulted in the most CDMA base station shipments in over four years," he said.

"As the two GSM operators, China Mobile and China Telecom focused their spending on the rapid deployment of their 3G networks, spending on their GSM networks significantly declined.

"We expect this spending to accelerate in the second half of the year."

During the quarter, Huawei experienced the greatest rate of growth, almost doubling its share of the total infrastructure market to 15 cent compared to the same quarter last year.

Meanwhile, market leader Ericsson increased its share slightly to 33 per cent of the market in January-March, while Nokia Siemens Networks dropped to 21 per cent from 24 per cent a year ago, according to Dell’Oro.

Alcatel-Lucent saw its share fall to 14 per cent from 16 per cent.

Even less fortunate was North American’s largest maker of telecommunications gear Nortel, which saw its market share halving to 4 per cent from a year ago.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in US federal court and for creditor protection in Canada’s Ontario Superior Court of Justice in January.

With the market expected to remain tight and extremely competitive, other’s could well be going down the same path.

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