Ethernet switches, routers, Wi-Fi on the upswing

Ethernet switches, routers, Wi-Fi on the upswing

Sales of Ethernet switches, enterprise routers and wireless LAN equipment are expected to rise this year and beyond coming out of the recession, according to Infonetics Research.

The markets rebounded a bit in the second half of 2009 but were still down overall from 2008, the firm notes.

Nonetheless, the Ethernet switch market grew 15% sequentially in the fourth quarter of 2009, to $4.2 billion. Port shipments grew 4%, Infonetics found.

Ethernet Everywhere!

Overall, customers opted for lower cost switches, which negatively impacted switch revenue growth. Surprisingly, sales of higher-priced chassis-based systems had the highest sequential growth within the market, Infonetics found.

Worldwide revenue of 10G Ethernet switches grew 63% in 2009.

Ethernet switch market leader Cisco, which earlier this week introduced new switches, saw its revenue jump 19% sequentially in Q4.

In enterprise routers, Cisco's unit share decreased by one point, while the company's revenue share increased by a point in 2009, Infonetics found.

Overall, worldwide enterprise router revenue was down 28% to just over $3 billion in 2009.

3Com was the only vendor to increase enterprise router revenue in 2009, Infonetics found.

Sequentially, Q4 router revenue was up 10% over Q3 to $821 million. Infonetics concludes that enterprise router sales are beginning to stabilize, with sales growing again sequentially and year-over-year declines shrinking.

In WLANs, worldwide revenue was flat sequentially in Q4 at $571 million, but grew 16% compared to Q4 of 2008. For the full year, worldwide Wi-Fi network equipment revenue was down 6% compared to 2008.

WLAN growth in 2010 will be driven by increasing mobility in the enterprise, fixed-mobile convergence and wired/wireless LAN convergence. Cisco continues to lead the WLAN equipment market with 46% in both 2009 and Q4, followed by Aruba Networks, according to Infonetics.

Read more about lans and wans in Network World's LANs & WANs section.

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