DT Likes Cisco's ASR 9000

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has found a second big-name customer for its ASR 9000 router: Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT).

And true to Cisco's form lately, the win got announced without any big press-release fanfare. Instead, the news came in the form of a Cisco-made video about all the cool things DT plans to do with the ASR 9000.

DT senior executive vice president Wolfgang Schmitz talks about using the ASR 9000 to simplify the company's networks, especially when it comes to the delivery of video. The company also intends to merge business and residential services onto the router, rather than keeping the traffic in separate networks.

News of the first ASR 9000 win, with Verizon Wireless , was similarly low-key, buried inside a press release about the carrier winning a Cisco award for quality or excellence or something-or-other. (See Cisco Lands Verizon.)

The ASR 9000 is a big deal to Cisco, because it represents a long-awaited refresh of the company's edge router strategy, giving Cisco a possible long-term successor to the aging 7600 router line. (See Cisco Pumps Up the Edge.)

It's also Cisco's chance to regain some lost ground against the Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) 7750 Service Router and the Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) MX line of routers. (See AlcaLu Beefs Up Its Routers, Juniper Expands the Edge, and Market Share vs. Cisco.)

In a note published this afternoon, analyst Simon Leopold of Morgan Keegan & Company Inc. quotes Ovum RHK Inc. stats giving Cisco a 44 percent market share in edge routers last year -- down from 60 percent in 2004. He notes that AlcaLu has gotten its routers into high-volume gigs like the AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) U-verse buildout, while Juniper's MX has won deals with AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).

"The release of the ASR 9000 positions Cisco with a new product cycle that we think will enable it to retake some lost share later this year and into 2010," Leopold writes.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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