Carrier Switch and Router Market Grows by 4.5 Percent

The market for Service Provider Routers and Switches continues to grow as Ethernet demand expands.

According to the third quarter 2011 (3Q11) Service Provider Routers and Switches vendor market share report from Infonetics Research, revenues hit $3.5 billion for carrier routers and switches during the quarter for a 4.5 percent year-over-year gain.

According to Infonetics, the big winner in terms of growth is Cisco.

“Of the top five vendors, only Cisco increased its overall carrier router and switch revenue in the third quarter of 2011, up 3 percent from the previous quarter to $1.43 billion,” Michael Howard, principal analyst for carrier networks at Infonetics Research, said in a statement. “Since Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Juniper and ZTE all saw double-digit percent declines in their carrier router and switch revenue in the same period, Cisco rises back up to over 40 percent market share for the first time this year.”

Howard added that Cisco is showing particular strength in the IP Edge segment that makes up nearly 80 percent of the total carrier router and switch market. Cisco’s ASR 9000 which first debuted in 2008 is a key component of the Cisco IP Edge portfolio. The ASR 9000 was updated in June of this year providing new network virtualization capabilities and up to 92 TB of capacity.

Cisco’s IP Edge growth is coming at the expense of Chinese networking vendor Huawei. Huawei’s share in the third quarter dropped to 12.3 percent down from 17.2 percent in the second quarter of 2011.

Looking at the Carrier Ethernet market as a whole, Infonetics is seeing continued strength in the sector. For 2011, Infonetics is now forecasting that the global carrier Ethernet equipment market will grow by 15.7 percent to $32.0 billion in revenues for the year.

The growth in 2011 is helping to fuel an even more optimistic medium term outlook for the sector.

“The carrier Ethernet equipment market continues to grow strongly, so much so that we’ve increased our long-term forecast from $37.5 billion to $40.2 billion by 2015,” Howard said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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