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Metro Ethernet future looks very bright

Jul 24, 20032 mins

* Infonetics Research predicts sunny days ahead for metro Ethernet

According to one research firm at least, the metropolitan area is a place that will see tremendous growth in Ethernet in the next few years.

Infonetics Research last week released a report that shows worldwide metro Ethernet equipment revenue hit $2.5 billion in 2002. By 2006, the firm predicts that figure will more than double, to about $5.9 billion.

In terms of ports shipped, the numbers are even more impressive. About 906,000 metro Ethernet equipment ports went out last year, and Infonetics says to look for that number to increase to 3.6 million by 2006.

Ethernet is becoming more popular as a metro-area technology for some of the same reasons it is popular in the LAN: low cost and simplicity.

Infonetics says momentum picked up in the first half of this year, with new products from vendors and new Ethernet metro services from service providers. It says different metro transports are all growing fast – Ethernet Passive Optical Networks, Ethernet over wave-division multiplexing, and Ethernet over SONET.

Ethernet over fiber – using Ethernet switches and routers – makes up 65% of the market, with Ethernet over SONET/SDH making up another 22%.

Interestingly, the Asia-Pacific region leads spending in this area, at 42% of the market, followed by North America at 35%, Infonetics says.