Ethernet equipment dominates metro market

Oct. 1, 2004

Worldwide metro Ethernet equipment revenue topped $3 billion last year and is forecast to grow 157% to $7.7 billion by 2007, contends a new report from Infonetics Research (San Jose, CA). Metro Ethernet ports are on the rise as well, increasing 440% during the forecast period.

Between 2003 and ’07, almost $25 billion will be spent worldwide on Ethernet in metro networks. Every year over the next 10 years, Ethernet will account for a larger portion of metro capital expenditures, driving double-digit growth through 2007.

“Routers with Ethernet interfaces and Ethernet switches continue to be the mainstay products of the metro Ethernet market, together representing about two-thirds of the market, but Ethernet over SONET is now growing quickly and represents nearly a quarter of all metro revenue,” reports Michael Howard, Infonetics Research principal analyst. “This makes sense,” he adds, “as there are an estimated 375,000 SONET and SDH rings in the world, and Ethernet over SONET allows providers who invested in these rings to meet customer demand for faster, more flexible service via Ethernet. It also simplifies their networks, making it easier to carry fast-growing data and TDM traffic at the same time.”

According to the report, Cisco Systems leads worldwide revenue market share for Ethernet over SONET/SDH, just barely edging out Alcatel, with Fujitsu close behind. Nortel, meanwhile, leads worldwide revenue share for Ethernet over WDM, followed by ADVA and Cisco.

The bulk of metro Ethernet equipment revenue comes from Asia, followed by North America and EMEA. Japan continues to work toward its goal of connecting 30 million consumers and small offices/home offices (SOHOs) at 10 Mbits/sec and 10 million at 100 Mbits/sec by 2006.

For more information about the report, “Metro Ethernet Equipment,” visit

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