Polls Point to 2004 Optimism

People are feeling cautiously upbeat about 2004, judging by early results of a couple of Light Reading polls. The market for many categories of telecom equipment will grow, they believe, and conditions in the job market will get a little easier.

The findings for the telecom equipment market come from asking respondents to rate the likely growth or decline of 10 product categories in Light Reading's current Research Poll. The results, so far, are summarized in the table below.

Table 1: 2004 Outlook for Telecom Equipment
Product category Average score to date
VOIP equipment 2.07
Ethernet equipment 1.8
Edge routers and B-RASs 1.36
Sonet/SDH multiservice provisioning platforms 1.1
Multiservice switches 1.09
DLSAMs and DLCs 0.99
Access/metro DWDM/CWDM equipment 0.81
FTTP equipment (including PONs) 0.81
Core routers 0.54
Long-haul optical transport -0.36
3 = strong growth
2 = moderate growth
1 = weak growth
0 = flat
-1 = weak decline

Not surprisingly, VOIP equipment gets the highest average rating of 2.07, close to the "moderate growth" score of 2.0. Next comes Ethernet equipment, with an average rating of 1.8.

Only one product category -- long haul optical transport, comprising DWDM gear and optical switches -- gets a negative average score, indicating that most people expect the market to decline even further than it did in 2003.

Click here to take the poll yourself and see the latest results in detail.

On the job front, Light Reading's Work Poll suggests things are looking up a little:

  • Of the respondents that have so far taken the poll, 59 percent say it will get "a bit easier" to find a job in 2004, compared to 2003. Another 29 percent think there'll be no change.

  • Conversely, the chances of respondents losing their jobs appear to have reduced a little. Twenty-nine percent say it's "much less likely" compared to 2003, while a further 24 percent say it's "a bit less likely." Thirty-five percent say there'll be no change.

  • Most respondents aren't expecting much of a pay raise this year: 38 percent expect a raise of up to 5 percent, and 31 percent don't expect a raise at all.

    Click here to take the poll yourself and see the latest results in detail.

    — Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading

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