Router, Ethernet Switch Sector Grows

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.

Cisco Systems Inc. remains the market leader, with a 38% market share, while Alcatel-Lucent took second spot, Juniper Networks Inc. third, and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. fourth.

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

^ip4g^ 12/2/2013 | 1:33:25 AM
Re: makes sense, right? what is the share of AlcaLu, Juniper and Huawei in terms of %

Has Ericsson managed to break in to the rank yet !?
Shantanu Bhattacharya 11/30/2013 | 3:17:42 AM
Re: makes sense, right? Thanks for the report. Awaiting more reports and insight on "Market in turmoil"  & "Things are getting very very interesting".
victorblake 11/29/2013 | 7:48:44 PM
Re: makes sense, right? Agreed (about low cost of commodity L2 only switches). This particular reports references "Carrier Ethernet" which presumably includes carrier ethernet specific 802.1 and 802.3 features -- such as link aggregation, discovery protocols, priority tagging, and likely provider bridging (and possibly PBB) functionality -- so while I agree with your statement -- it does seem that this report is referring to higher end switches. Perhaps Ray could clarify what's included in the context of the report. (If so, thanks in advance for doing so).
brookseven 11/29/2013 | 7:24:26 PM
Re: makes sense, right?  

There are also whole classes of low end switches for which SDN will be a huge cost increase.  Price per Gigabit at wirespeed at the low end will do a lot better on dedicated switches.


victorblake 11/29/2013 | 6:23:56 PM
Re: makes sense, right? Or it could be that no one is actually using SDN ... That would also make sense as to why it has no impact on router and switch sales. At the very least we should agree SDN is a deployable technology for carriers (we'll assume non-Internet data centers could use SDN technology in isolated islands).
DOShea 11/29/2013 | 10:16:06 AM
Re: makes sense, right? Really seems like SDN has to slow down hardware purchases somewhat, or at least throw them into havoc for a few quarters. I wonder how much the analysts at various firms are eyeing a second set of projections if that starts to happen.
[email protected] 11/29/2013 | 7:17:39 AM
makes sense, right? It would be a massive concern if, in a world where data traffic is growing and dominating and where mobile operators are shifting to IP infrastructures, sales of routers and ethernet gear to telcos were not rising each year. 

Butthe market is in turmoil, right? so anything could happen in the coming years in terms of mix and deployment strategies.

Things are getting very, very interesting...
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