Infonetics expects the global carrier router and switch market to grow to $17 billion by 2018 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of just over 3% for five-years (2013-2018). In its 3rd quarter 2014 (3Q14) Service Provider Routers and Switches update, the leading market research firm said that combined, service provider routers and switches, including IP edge and core routers and carrier Ethernet switches, totaled to $3.7 billion worldwide in third quater 2014. The number however is down 3% from the previous quarter and overall all regions except CALA (Caribbean and Latin America) were down compared to the second quarter results, according to Infonetics. Infonetics also named Huawei as the vendor that has increased its share the most from 3Q12 to 3Q14.
Michael Howard, Analyst and co-founder, Infonetics Research
The 'SDN hesitation' we first identified four quarters ago remains in effect, slowing router spending in the third quarter of 2014 as carriers remain cautious about investing in equipment and software that might need to be replaced in the future. Meanwhile carrier Ethernet switches (CES) had an unprecedented quarter, with global revenue up 32% from the previous quarter and up 14% from a year ago, driven by ZTE in China and Cisco in North America. Fundamental changes are on the horizon as the market transitions from hardware-driven to software-driven, but no doubt routers must be fitted with higher-capacity blades to accommodate growing traffic, and there is intensifying focus on content delivery networks (CDNs) and smart traffic management across routes to make routers and optical gear cooperate more closely.