Metro Ethernet service providers in the Asia Pacific region will be making almost $8bn annually within four years, market watchers predict.
The growing market for Metro Ethernet services in the region is being driven mainly by demand from enterprise customers, researchers at In-Stat believe.
Future growth will be boosted by consumer demand for new high-bandwidth services such as IPTV, according to sources at network hardware maker Nortel Networks.
As the number of enterprises in the region connected to Metro Ethernet networks rises from last year's total of 630,000 to an estimated 2.64 million in 2010, service revenues will more than double from $3.12bn to $7.73bn.
"As service providers realise that the bandwidth flexibility Metro Ethernet offers to enterprise users is greatly welcomed, they will put more effort into developing market opportunities around basic Metro Ethernet connectivity in the next five years," said In-Stat analyst Vincent Liu.
Ethernet was originally designed for short range local area networks. Metro Ethernet extends the range of the technology to cover entire urban areas, as the name suggests.
The resulting system is sometimes classified formally as a metropolitan area network. Metro Ethernet is often carried on an optical fibre backbone, with short range wired or wireless links from local hubs to individual users.
Manufacturers of Ethernet hardware claim that the tried and tested nature of the technology makes it cheaper to implement than competing systems, even when the range is extended in this way.
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