Booming global demand for DSL-based broadband has seen a doubling in sales of the DSL Access Multiplexer (DSLAM) equipment required to upgrade phone exchanges, with average prices falling by a third.
A study by analyst In-Stat/MDR also predicted that ADSL would be replaced by higher bandwidth versions of DSL, and that the services would offer more features.
IP DSLAMs are growing in popularity as they offer cheaper Gigabit Ethernet trunking than ATM-based DSLAMs.
This IP-based equipment also allows ISPs to provide more intelligent features for customers, such as support for differential services and multicasting for video services.
The report also found that the average selling price per DSLAM port worldwide dropped by over 30 per cent in 2003, as vendors competed fiercely on price to win contracts. Alcatel was the leading vendor in all markets outside Asia-Pacific.
Demand for broadband has seen service providers rapidly adding network capacity to keep pace with existing DSL subscriber demand and plan for future growth.
But Henry Goldbery, a senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR, said in a statement: "DSLAM port shipments will grow more slowly next year as a result of the additional capacity that was added in 2003 and a slower rate of DSL subscriber growth."
He added that port shipments should still grow by a healthy 40 per cent, and will continue to grow over the next five years.
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