Global enterprise router sales revenues fell by two per cent during 2004, according to figures from Infonetics Research.
Sales in the sector amounted to $816m in the fourth quarter of 2004 and $3.4bn for the whole of last year, while unit shipments were up eight per cent quarter-over-quarter and four per cent year-over-year.
The analyst firm's latest quarterly worldwide market share and forecast report predicts that revenue will return to the 2003 level of $3.5bn in 2006, and should hit $3.6bn in 2008.
Despite router revenue falling, Cisco gained a point in market share in the final quarter of 2004, maintaining its lead with 84 per cent revenue and 77 per cent unit market share. Vanguard is in second place for revenue share and Allied Telesyn is second in units shipped.
"Twelve per cent of fourth-quarter enterprise router revenue came from the sale of secure routers, up one per cent from the third quarter," said Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise voice and data at Infonetics Research.
"We predict secure routers to continue to take up a growing slice of the router revenue pie, accounting for 29 per cent of total router revenue by 2008.
"Over time, router vendors could add security features into their routers as a default offering, at no extra charge, causing the standard enterprise router category to disappear."
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