The enterprise router market grew in the first quarter, reaching US$1 billion in revenue worldwide. Infonetics expects the market, which had a down year in 2005, to hit US$4.8 billion by 2009.
Switch sales were down in the first quarter, however. Worldwide Layer 2-3 Ethernet switch sales dropped 12 percent in the first quarter, Infonetics says. Even the supposedly hot Layer 4-7 switch market fell 8 percent to US$198 million in the first quarter after being up 19 percent the previous quarter. Infonetics analysts say the slowdown was due to seasonal buying patterns; a pick-up is expected later this year, with 1G and 10Gbps Ethernet switch port shipments expected to sell well (A Gartner analyst last week suggested that companies will actually buy billions of dollars worth of Gig Ethernet that they don't really need.)
While revenue was down, shipments were way up from the same quarter a year ago: the 73 million Layer 2-3 Ethernet ports shipped in the first quarter was an increase of 23 percent from the first quarter of 2005. Users were most interested in fixed-configuration switches, as these types of ports represented 54 percent of the total market for revenue, Infonetics says.
Cisco maintained its lead in router and switch revenue.