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In an exclusive three-part series, Telecom Review presents unique insights into the benchmarking of the leading telecom vendors' carrier and enterprise business operations.

In this second installment, we delve into the research and development (R&D) expenditures of Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia and ZTE, based on comprehensive data gathered from Twimbit's analysis titled "Q1 2023 Telecom Equipment Vendor Performance Benchmarks."


Cisco's commitment to innovation is evident in its substantial increase in R&D spending, which surged by an impressive 36.55% year-on-year, reaching a total of US$2 billion. The company strategically chose to expand its investment in ICT R&D on an international scale, reinforcing its position as a technology leader.

Also Read: Boosting Saudi Arabia's Security Resilience: Key Success Factors in a Cisco Study


Ericsson allocated a significant portion of its resources to R&D, with expenses increasing by 12%. This growth was primarily observed in the Enterprise segment, driven by the acquisition of Vonage and investments in expanding its Enterprise Wireless Solutions portfolio. Despite a slight decrease of 30 basis points in R&D spending as a share of total revenue, Ericsson's commitment to technological advancement remains strong, supporting its future growth prospects.

Also Read: Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Announces R&D Partnership With Ericsson


Nokia demonstrated a steady focus on long-term R&D investment for Radio Frequency Systems (RFS), resulting in a notable year-on-year growth of 3%. However, on a quarterly basis, Nokia experienced a decline of 9%. The company's dedication to enhancing its R&D capabilities underscores its commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions in the ever-evolving telecom landscape.

Also Read: Nokia Leads Germany’s 6G Research and Standardization


ZTE continues to prioritize innovation by investing significantly in research and development. With a particular emphasis on key technologies like 5G, 6G, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT), ZTE witnessed impressive year-on-year growth of 26.3% in R&D spending. This steadfast commitment to innovation has enabled ZTE to maintain its global competitiveness and bolster its leading position in the ICT industry. Notably, ZTE's growing patent portfolio stands as a testament to its unwavering dedication to technological advancements.

Also Read: TM and ZTE Sign MoU for R&D Innovation

Huawei’s data has been excluded in this part as Twimbit noted that the company doesn’t disclose segment revenue quarterly.

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