Telecommunications vendors Cisco, Huawei and Ericsson were neck and neck on Infonetics Research’s equipment vendor leadership scorecard.

While each vendor had different strengths, Huawei was ranked first on the scorecard, followed closely by Ericsson and Cisco.

“The six vendors profiled in our telecom scorecard together earn more than half of the world’s telecom equipment and service revenue and share a common thread: they offer products and services across the entire telecom spectrum,” said Michael Howard, co-founder and principal analyst for carrier networks at Infonetics Research. “The race for top ranking was tight this year. The top three vendors—Huawei, Ericsson and Cisco—are bunched closely together due to different strengths, but it’s financial stability that sets them apart from the other three vendors—Alcatel-Lucent, NSN and ZTE.”

Highlights from the scorecard included:

• With a solid performance in market share, market share momentum and solution breadth, Huawei received the highest overall score for telecom vendor equipment and services

• Ericsson, the world’s largest provider of telecom equipment and services, took the second spot, finishing a just behind Huawei; Ericsson nabbed above-average scores overall and, thanks to its RAN offering, is in a good position to grow as the world continues to go mobile

• Cisco, ranked first in Infonetics’ companion enterprise scorecard, came in third in the telecom infrastructure scorecard, earning high marks for financial stability and technology innovation

The next group of vendors analyzed in the report—Alcatel-Lucent, NSN and ZTE were well behind the top three, but each had corrective measures in place for 2013. Through its SHIFT plan, AlcaLu is prioritizing its product portfolio and investing in fewer segments going forward. Nokia has announced the buyback of Nokia Siemens Networks from Siemens. ZTE is re-strategizing and has a strong Chinese service provider base to fund global expansion plans