Make no mistake about it, the world is moving to Ethernet.
According to a new report from Infonetics Research, the global market
revenues for service provider routers and switches was $9.6 billion in
2006, a 33 percent increase over the $7.2 billion recorded in 2005.
Ethernet and IP are among the driving factors for the continued growth which
is expected to continue unabated until at least 2010.
As Ethernet grows, ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) (define) switches
continue to decline. For 2006, Infonetics reported that ATM switch revenues
dropped 33 percent from 2005 levels, down to $1.3 billion. The ATM market has slid
for the past five years from a high of almost $5 billion in 2000 for switch
Though the move from ATM to Ethernet and IP represents a portion of the
growth in the worldwide service provider router and switch revenue, Michael
Howard, principal analyst and co-founder of Infonetics Research explained to
internetnews.com that deployments are a mix of several factors.
“Router growth is closely aligned with network bandwidth usage growth in
general, and we’re all using networks in our work, home, and play. Video
traffic is causing very noticeable jumps in bandwidth, and this will only
get stronger in the future,” Howard said.
The growth of broadband in particular is also fueling the move to Ethernet.
Howard explained that broadband, whether DSL, cable, or fiber uses Ethernet
and IP to aggregate the traffic.
Additionally, Howard noted that many service providers around the globe have
IP Transformation Projects in motion, which means that they are moving
toward all-IP based data networks, and routers and Carrier Ethernet Switches
(CES) are at the heart of these network changes.