LAN Ethernet market poised for growth

Shipments of LAN Ethernet switches in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are expected to increase by 19% this year, but growth...

Shipments of LAN Ethernet switches in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are expected to increase by 19% this year, but growth will slow to 6% by 2006, according to a market forecast released on Friday by Dataquest, a unit of Gartner.

This year, Dataquest predicts that this particular market will reach 52.1 million ports. By 2006, market growth will drop to 6.4%, reaching 71.1 million ports.

The market researcher attributes the growth to the 50.1% rise in shipments of gigabit Ethernet switches and 26.1% increase in layer 3 switches.

Cisco continues to be the leading switch vendor, accounting for 40.2% of all shipments and 65% of revenue in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

While the LAN Ethernet switch market remains relatively healthy compared with most other IT markets, the high growth rates of previous years are over, Dataquest said. The switch market is becoming saturated and commoditised, the market researcher said.

Prices are falling as shipments continue to grow, Dataquest said. In 2001, revenue grew by only 1.7%, compared with 46% the year before.

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