Media-converter equipment market fueled by large, more complex LANs

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As local area networks (LANs) become larger and more complex, the result is a major ongoing operational expense and disruption of work, according to Stephen Montgomery, president of ElectroniCast Corp., a market-forecast consultant firm based in San Mateo, CA. But that's good news for the LAN media-converter equipment market, as network administrators seek out inexpensive ways to upgrade their systems.

The challenge to upgrade existing networks often requires adapting to another media, such as copper-to-fiber or multimode-to-singlemode fiber or even coaxial to unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) copper. Media converters offer the administrator the means to implement these changes at a lower cost.

According to ElectroniCast's new report, "Private Data Network Media Converter Global Market Forecast," the reconfiguration, relocation, and extension of local area networks are expanding everywhere and will be reflected in the global-consumption value of media-converter equipment. Th Acf5a1

In 1998, the global-consumption value for LAN media-converter equipment reached $143.3 million, based on ElectroniCast's research. North America held a 61.3% share with $87.8 million. Europe represents a rapidly increasing market with a 25.2% share, or $36.1 million, in 1998, expected to increase to 29.6%, or $297.8 million, by 2008.

The Japan/Pacific Rim market share is relatively lower, with 11% in 1998. This region, says ElectroniCast, has been typically rebuilding and installing "new builds" instead of over-building legacy networks. In South America, the market share will dramatically increase to 7.4%, or more than $74.2 million by 2008.

User demand for greater bandwidth and increased interconnectivity to the desktop and throughout the network are matched by rapidly growing demand for global-broadband interconnectivity. Interactive multimedia terminals, videoconferencing, and rapid access to massive databases are seen as productively increasing tools with quick payback. Media converters play a role in enabling network-expansion capability without making the current operational network products obsolete.

The entire report is available from ElectroniCast by calling Theresa Hosking at (650) 343-1398, fax (650) 343-1698, or e-mail: electronicast@msn.com.

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