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Recovery well underway in Ethernet Switch, Enterprise Router, Wireless LAN Markets

3/18/10 - Market research firm Infonetics Research recently released three enterprise networking market reports with new fourth quarter (4Q09) and year-end data, vendor market share, analysis, and forecasts: Ethernet Switches , Enterprise Routers , and Wireless LAN and WiFi Mesh Equipment and Phones .

"The Ethernet switch, enterprise router, and wireless LAN equipment markets have improved significantly from the lows set in the first half of 2009, but are still down overall in 2009 compared to 2008. With the economic recovery under way, we expect sales to rise across the board in 2010 and beyond as companies make necessary infrastructure investments and slowly expand again," anticipates Matthias Machowinski , directing analyst for enterprise voice and data at Infonetics Research .


  • The Ethernet switch market had a strong rebound in 4Q09, growing 15% sequentially to $4.2 billion
  • On a year-over-year basis (4Q08 to 4Q09), Ethernet switch port shipments are up 4%
  • Demand for new Ethernet switches continued in 2009, but buyers migrated to lower cost switches, which hurt revenue
  • In 4Q09, sales in the important chassis switch segment, a big revenue contributor due to their high price tags, showed the highest sequential growth
  • Despite taking a dive along with the rest of the market in 1Q09, the 10G Ethernet switch segment recovered well, with worldwide revenue growing 63% in 2009 over 2008
  • Cisco's Ethernet switch revenue jumped 19% sequentially in 4Q09; and easily maintains its #1 position in the overall market, followed by HP and 3Com
    • The acquisition of 3Com by HP is expected to close in the first half of 2010


      • Worldwide enterprise router revenue had strong sequential growth in 4Q09, up 10% from the previous quarter to $821 million
      • Enterprise router sales are beginning to stabilize in all regions, with sales growing again sequentially, and year-over-year declines shrinking
      • However, revenue is down 28% for the full year of 2009, just barely above $3 billion
      • Cisco did a remarkable job defending their enterprise router market share in a difficult year: their unit share decreased only 1 point, and their revenue share actually increased a point
      • 3Com is the big success story in 2009 as the only vendor to increase enterprise router revenue in 2009, based on the success of their H3C brand


      • Worldwide wireless LAN equipment revenue held steady in 4Q09 from the previous quarter, at $571 million, but sales grew 16% year-over-year, 4Q09 compared to 4Q08
      • While the wireless LAN equipment market saw a much steeper drop than other network equipment sectors in early 2009, it quickly recovered and is down a relatively mild 6% for the full year 2009
      • The move toward enterprise mobility, fixed-mobile convergence (FMC), and wired/wireless LAN convergence will drive growth in the worldwide wireless LAN equipment market in 2010 and beyond
      • Cisco continues to lead the wireless LAN equipment market with 46% of the worldwide market in both 2009 and 4Q09, followed by Aruba
      Infonetics' enterprise router report tracks 3Com, ADTRAN, Cisco, Huawei, Juniper, Nortel, OneAccess, and others. The report provides worldwide and regional market size, market share, analysis, and forecasts for high-end, mid-range, branch, and low-end/SOHO routers, including port detail (T1/E1/J1, T3/E3/J3, OC3/STM1, OC12/STM4 and other ports).

      Infonetics' Ethernet switch report tracks 3Com, ADTRAN, Alcatel-Lucent, Blade, Cisco, D-Link, Enterasys, Extreme, Force10, Huawei, Linksys, NETGEAR, Nortel, HP, SMC, and others. The report provides market size, market share, forecasts, and analysis for PoE switches by form factor and speed, and Ethernet switches (including chassis switches and layer 2 and layer 3 managed, unmanaged, and web-managed fixed configuration switches).

      Infonetics' wireless LAN and WiFi mesh report provides market size, market share, analysis, and forecasts through 2014 for dependent and independent access points, indoor and outdoor mesh network nodes, WLAN controllers, and enterprise single-mode WiFi phones. Companies tracked include 3Com, Aruba, Bel Air, Cisco, D-Link, Extreme, Meru, Motorola, NETGEAR, Polycom, HP, Proxim, Ruckus, Siemens, SMC, Trapeze, and others.

      By Robert Hoskins

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