Worldwide router sales in the second quarter declined 6 per cent sequentially to $US1.5 billion, according to the latest figures from Dell'Oro Group. Declines in higher-end routers -- those greater than or equal to 1Gbps -- offset gains in the lower end.
The low-end router segment -- those less than or equal to 900Mbps and supporting WAN connection speeds up to T1/E1 -- was the only segment with increasing sales in total and for all vendors, according to Dell'Oro. At the very high end, unit shipments were level; however, sales declined as a result of users shifting away from expensive high-speed ports -- OC-192/STM-64 and OC-48/STM-16 -- to low-speed ports like OC-3/STM-1 and Ethernet.
The leader continues to be Cisco Systems, which saw its revenue decline 6 per cent from the first quarter, to $US1.32 billion. But Cisco appears to have gained more than 2 per cent share from the 85.5 per cent it had in that quarter.
Second-placed Juniper Networks' sales dipped 10 per cent to $94 million. The company's share remained about flat, dipping only 0.1 per cent.
At number three, Unisphere Networks, which was acquired by Juniper in May, saw its sales dive 22 per cent sequentially, according to Dell'Oro.
In edge/aggregation routers specifically, worldwide sales totalled $471.6 million in the second quarter, which is about the same as the first quarter, according to Dell'Oro competitor Infonetics Research.
Cisco's revenue grew 14 per cent. The company achieved 67 per cent market share in the second quarter, its highest level since 2000, Infonetics found.
Juniper and Unisphere's combined market share is 14 per cent, according to Infonetics. For all of 2002, Infonetics expects the edge/aggregation market to total $1.9 billion, a 25 per cent increase from 2001.
A major trend emerging in edge/aggregation is the imminent overlap of this class of routers with IP services routers, Infonetics said. Vendors are adding firewalls, IPSec blades, MPLS-based service capabilities, and more QoS functionality to make their edge/aggregation routers service-rich.
This will pit the aggregation devices directly against IP services routers, which until now owned the firewall, VPN tunnelling and MPLS/QoS domain, Infonetics said.
"As these products develop into the same breed, competition will get fierce, and not all products -- or companies -- will survive the battle," said Infonetics analyst Kevin Mitchell.