The market for telecom operator routers and Carrier Ethernet switches grew by 7% year-on-year to $3.6 billion in the third quarter of 2013 and is expected to experience further growth in the fourth quarter, according to numbers published by Infonetics Research.
The analyst firm notes that sales in all the categories it tracks -- edge routers, core routers, and Carrier Ethernet switches -- were all higher than a year earlier.
The market is set for ongoing annual growth that should, if the Infonetics Research Inc. team is correct, exceed $20 billion in 2017.
The question being asked by many in the IP and Ethernet sector, though, is whether the high interest in software-defined networking (SDN) might have an impact on the edge router market and whether virtual routers might find their way into carrier networks. (See Unknown Document 706160, Cisco Asks the Killer SDN Question, Cisco's ACI Gets Physical With SDN, and Brocade: Poised for Virtual Joy?)
In addition, industry-watchers believe the competitive dynamics of the router and Carrier Ethernet switch sector will change significantly in the coming years: The recent speculation has been centered around the fate of Alcatel-Lucent's acclaimed IP division, though early signs of success for the vendor's restructuring program, The Shift Plan, have quashed some of that talk. (See Alcatel-Lucent: Not Ready for a Breakup and Alcatel-Lucent Builds Future Around IP.)
— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading