25 Mar
2021

Sector deep dive: Telecoms

Communication has been a driving factor in the convergence of technologies. Telecoms is dominated by local players such as Huawei, ZTE and China Mobile, with key research areas including 5G, the IoT, wireless communications and AR/VR. Chinese players are present throughout the entire telecoms ecosystem. What is more, the likes of Huawei have expanded their presence so that they are no longer solely telecoms players. These companies are active in areas including consumer electronics, connected home appliances, semiconductors and cloud activities. In recent years, they have also been exploring opportunities in automotive.

Table 1. Telecoms players from top 100

Company nameChinese grants (patents only)IndustryCountry of origin
Huawei40310TelecomsChina
ZTE20207TelecomsChina
China Mobile7363TelecomsChina
Nokia7315TelecomsFinland
Ericsson4330TelecomsSweden

Table 2. Telecoms technology trends

Top trendsTop playersActive grantsTop players 2019-2020Active grants 2019-2020Key areasOther key players
5G networksHuawei7,880Huawei4,002Network planning and security, electric vehicle control, resource management, multiplexing, multimedia broadcasting, navigation, hand-off wireless communication, connection managementQualcomm, LG Corp, Samsung, Intel
ZTE2,796ZTE1,085
Nokia1,756China Mobile574
Ericsson1,497Ericsson563
IoTHuawei7,967Huawei4,019Network planning and security, NLP and HMI, electric and autonomous vehicles control, connected devices, network mirroring/replication, resource management, navigawtion, hand-off wireless communication, connection managementQualcomm, LG Corp, Samsung, Intel
ZTE2,884ZTE1,102
Nokia1,775China Mobile601
Ericsson1,508Ericsson564
Wireless communication networksHuawei3,741Huawei2,139Wireless downlink, wireless transmission/communication, wireless channel access, antenna structures, substation equipment for wireless communication, short-range communication services, network data management, resource managementBBK Electronics, Samsung, LG Corp, Qualcomm
ZTE1,373ZTE718
Vivo Mobile845Vivo Mobile690
Nokia762Ericsson219
User interface and haptics/displayVivo Mobile959Vivo Mobile818User interface controls, display technologies/haptics, HMD/virtual reality, gesture-based controlBBK Electronics, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft
ZTE747ZTE491
Huawei612Huawei276