SOURCE: Infonetics Research

Infonetics Research

March 02, 2011 19:04 ET

Infonetics Research: Ethernet switches and WLAN blow past pre-recession highs; enterprise routers disappoint

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - March 2, 2011) - Market research firm Infonetics Research ( recently released vendor market share rankings and market forecasts in 3 4th-quarter (4Q10) reports: Ethernet Switches, Wireless LAN Equipment and WiFi Phones, and Enterprise Routers.

"Wired and wireless Ethernet switching sales took a hit during the recession, but now they're back stronger than ever. The spring-back is partially due to pent-up demand and the need to upgrade networks to eliminate congestion. But another factor at play is the realization by many enterprises that building out their network coverage, including mobile access, improves communication among employees and access to IT applications, and that has a profound effect on productivity and competitiveness," notes Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research.


  • 4Q10 Ethernet switch revenue inched up 1% from 3Q10, enough to set a new quarterly sales record of $4.79 billion
  • Sales also set a new annual high of $18.8 billion in 2010, nearly $1 billion higher than the pre-recession high in 2008
  • In the next few quarters, 1G ports will begin out-shipping Fast Ethernet for the first time, an important inflection point
  • Juniper was the shining star in 4Q10, with a 21% sequential jump in Ethernet switch revenue, driven by strong data center sales
    • Juniper doubled its Ethernet switch sales in 2010, moving into a solid #3 position
  • Cisco, the market leader by far, lost market share during the recession, but managed to gain it all back, with revenue share up a full point in 2010 (70.4%) over pre-recession 2008


  • The worldwide WLAN equipment market grew 10% in 4Q10 over 3Q10, to $769 million, continuing a trend of positive growth
    • WLAN revenue is up 28% from the year-ago quarter (4Q09)
  • For the year, WLAN sales are up 23% to $2.7 billion, driven by the fundamental trend towards enterprise mobility and wired LAN and WLAN convergence
  • For the first time, 802.11n APs (access points) outnumbered legacy a/b/g APs in 4Q10, a shift that is helping support ASPs across most categories
  • In 4Q10, Cisco maintains its lead in worldwide WLAN equipment revenue (excluding WiFi phones), followed by Aruba


  • Worldwide enterprise router revenue rose 7% to $920 million in 4Q10 over 3Q10
  • However, unit sales were down both sequentially and from a year ago, reflecting the slow pace at which businesses are expanding despite the fact that the economy is returning to health
  • For the year, the enterprise router market grew 11% to $3.4 billion in 2010, disappointing considering the market stood at $4.3 billion pre-recession in 2008, and in sharp contrast to the record-breaking sales of Ethernet switches and wireless LAN equipment
  • HP finished strong in 4Q10, with enterprise router sales up more than 50% from 3Q10
  • Cisco's 2010 enterprise router revenue is off 18% from 2008, but still, Cisco managed to pick up market share (up 1.7 points to 78.2% in 2010) as other vendors declined

Infonetics' Ethernet switch report tracks Adtran, Alcatel-Lucent, Alaxala, Arista, Avaya, Blade, Brocade, Cisco, D-Link, Enterasys, Extreme, Force10, Hitachi Cable, HP, H3C, Huawei, Juniper, Linksys, NETGEAR, LG-Ericcson, and others. The report provides market size, market share, forecasts through 2015, and analysis for fixed configuration and chassis Ethernet switches by port type (100M, 1G copper/fiber, 10G copper/fiber; PoE, non-PoE). In addition, fixed Ethernet switches are tracked by layer (L2, L3) and management (unmanaged, web managed, fully managed).

Infonetics' wireless LAN and WiFi phones report provides market size, market share, analysis, and forecasts through 2015 for dependent, independent, and outdoor access points, WLAN controllers, and enterprise single-mode WiFi phones. Companies tracked include Alcatel-Lucent, Aruba, BelAir, Buffalo, Cisco, D-Link, Enterasys, Extreme, Meru, Motorola, NETGEAR, Polycom, HP, H3C, Proxim, Ruckus, LG-Ericsson, Trapeze, and others.

Infonetics' enterprise router report tracks Adtran, Avaya, Cisco, HP, H3C, Huawei, Juniper, OneAccess, and others. The report provides worldwide and regional market share, market size, forecasts, and analysis 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).

Clients of Infonetics' Enterprise Networking Continuous Research Service: log on to download the latest analyst reports (

See ENTERPRISE NETWORKING on Infonetics' portal (


Infonetics Research is an international market research and consulting firm serving the communications industry since 1990. A leader in defining and tracking emerging and established technologies in all world regions, Infonetics helps clients plan, strategize, and compete more effectively.

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