Researchers have forecasted that global Ethernet switch market sales will grow from $14.6bn in 2004 to $18.3bn in 2010, as major market shifts in customer segments, application deployments and switch port speeds continue to have opposing effects on overall market prices.
According to the latest research from industry analyst Dell'Oro Group, the increasing strength of sales in the small business sector will push average selling prices down over this period, as less expensive switches comprise the majority of shipments for this sector.
However, features such as Power-over-Ethernet incorporated into the switch infrastructure to handle converged application deployments will help offset these price declines.
Strong growth of Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet is also expected to help to prop up overall market prices.
"Given the strength in the small business segment, we anticipate that a 24- or 48-port Fast Ethernet fixed-configuration switch, which can add features to securely handle applications such as VoIP and wireless Lans without adding too much complexity or cost, will be the product of choice for this market over the next couple of years," said Seamus Crehan, director of Ethernet switch research at Dell'Oro.
"By then we expect that Gigabit Ethernet prices will have fallen sufficiently to entice stronger adoption of this higher speed technology among small businesses."
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