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Cisco-Juniper battle for carrier business continues neck-and-neck

The rivals split dominance in carrier edge switches and carrier router sales in Infonetics survey.

Posted by Network World Senior Editor Tim Greene. Jim Duffy is on vacation:In the ongoing battle between Cisco and Juniper for dominance in carrier networks, the two vendors have battled to a split decision in a recent Infonetics poll.

Cisco came out on top for its carrier Ethernet switches, while Juniper won for its IP edge routers.

The survey of service providers that together spend 22% of the world's total outlay for carrier gear ranked vendors in eight areas: technology, product roadmap, security, management, price-to-performance ratio (value), pricing, financial stability, and service and support. Participants in the survey were culled from North America, Asia-Pacific an Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The switch vendors they rated were Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson-Redback, Extreme, Foundry, and Huawei, with ZTE mentioned in several survey responses.

Router vendors ranked in the survey were Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson-Redback, Huawei, Juniper, and Tellabs.

Infonetics sells the survey reports so the results noted here are those that the research firm chose to release.

Meanwhile a separate Infonetics survey reports an uptick in overall carrier spending on core and edge routers. The jump in edge router purchases in the second quarter was the more dramatic, showing a 13% increase over the previous quarter. The rise in core router sales was 4%.

By contrast, sales of switches for the carrier edge were down slightly in the same quarter, but Infonetics didn't say how much.

Despite the increases in router sales, the market for these devices is still down from the same period last year, Infonetics says, although the bump up in the second quarter may bode well for calendar 2009 over calendar 2008. The research firm called the increases "a bounce off the bottom".

These sales are driven by carriers' continued transformation from TDM infrastructure to IP to support services such as Internet, mobile, data, broadband and video traffic, Infonetics says.

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