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Evolution of Broadband Traffic Characteristics

Infonetics Research released the routing and switching systems vendor market share results for the fourth quarter of 2009, based upon their latest global market study. These are the essential infrastructure building-block elements that enable the Global Networked Economy to flourish.

The top two vendors in the service provider router space, Cisco and Juniper, together went from attaining 69 percent of the worldwide router market in 2008 to 59 percent in 2009 -- while Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, and others gained share.

Tellabs pushed past Ericsson in 2009, putting them in the top five for the first time. Infonetics says that Tellabs had an especially strong year, based upon their focus on the mobile sector.

"All six of the top router vendors posted strong double-digit revenue increases in the fourth quarter, and we expect modest growth in the router segment to continue in 2010 as carriers carry out fixed-mobile convergence strategies for their router networks," notes Michael Howard, co-founder and principal analyst for carrier and data center networks at Infonetics Research.

I believe that the routing and switching sector segmentation may evolve in the coming year, as service providers evaluate the innovation pros and cons of best-of-breed platform solutions relative to the "integrated end-to-end" alternatives.

Service providers will increasingly look for routing intelligence that's built-in to platforms, as broadband network traffic characteristics continue to shift towards a marked increase in rich-media applications and other usage-related phenomena.

The Infonetics market study found the following:

- Worldwide revenue from service provider IP edge routers, IP core routers, carrier Ethernet switches, and multi-service ATM switches jumped 17 percent in 4Q09, led by strong IP edge router sales.

- While the combined market was buoyed in the fourth quarter, it was not enough to offset losses for the year, bringing the overall market down 12 percent from 2008 to 2009, to $11.1 billion.

- Multi-service ATM switches led the downward trend, as expected (this segment has been in decline for many quarters now).

- Asia Pacific is the only region to post year-over-year growth in IP edge and core router revenue, up 19 percent in 2009 from 2008, pushed in no small part by the Chinese government telecom stimulus and the competitiveness of the newly re-organized Chinese network operators.

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