Cellular infrastructure contract awards were down somewhat in 2003 when compared to 2002, and less than a third of the value of the awards recorded in 2001. In 2003, announced infrastructure contract awards totaled the lowest yearly total since 1996.
While contract awards were down in 2003 and 2002, early awards in 2004 look very promising. Much of the shock of the W-CDMA delays has passed, and service providers have started to resume their long-range planning after many delays. While 2004’s results aren’t expected to eclipse the awards of 2001, they should readily beat 2003’s results and maybe 2002’s total as well. The US and China had the largest number and value of contracts awarded anywhere in 2003. Ericsson and Nortel were the big winners of 2003, each getting over 20% of the value of all contracts announced.