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Networking hardware increases 11% in 2006

Global sales of optical network hardware rose 11% last year to reach US$11.9 billion, according to the latest figures from Infonetics Research.

Global sales of optical network hardware rose 11% last year to reach US$11.9 billion, according to the latest figures from Infonetics Research.

While sales of the different standards for synchronous optical networking and synchronous digital hierarchy (Sonet/SDH) technology accounted for the lion’s share of the market — representing 64% of overall sales in 2006 — Infonetics warned its days as the market leader were numbered as demand for wave division multiplexing (WDM) and ethernet technology increased.

The research firm said this year would see spending on Sonet/SDH equipment slowly begin to decline, while WDM spending would increase year-on-year at least until 2010.

“Spending on Sonet/SDH equipment has long dominated in the optical network hardware market, but WDM sales have steadily grown since 2002. In fact, in the fourth quarter of 2006, WDM sales shot up 18% while Sonet dropped 18%,” said Michael Howard, principal analyst at Infonetics Research, adding that WDM spending would surpass Sonet/SDH by 2010.

Alcatel-Lucent retained its first place in 2006 worldwide optical network hardware revenue market share, followed by Huawei then Nortel.

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