Sales of Gigabit Ethernet kit represented the only bright spot in a depressed European networking market during the third quarter of 2004, according to the latest market research from IDC.
The analyst firm found that the overall Lan switch market in EMEA declined by 1.4 per cent to 16.2 million ports during the period, compared with 16.4 million in the second quarter, and revenue decreased 6.1 per cent to $1.2bn.
The results represent a decline on the previous quarter, when EMEA Lan switch port shipments decreased 0.6 per cent, and revenues fell 3.3 per cent.
The fall in the third quarter of 2004 was caused by reductions in fast Ethernet port shipments and revenues. Fast Ethernet port shipments fell by 2.8 per cent to 13.7 million ports and revenue declined by 13.5 per cent to $465.4m.
At the same time, Gigabit Ethernet port shipments continued to increase in importance and the growth rate was higher this quarter than in the second. Gigabit Ethernet port shipments increased seven per cent, while revenue declined slightly by 1.2 per cent.
Interestingly, the highest rates of port shipment and revenue growth were registered among both low-end vendors (such as Netgear and Accton/SMC) and high-end vendors (such as Foundry and Enterasys). Netgear and Foundry registered the highest growth in Gigabit Ethernet port shipments and revenues.
The largest vendor, measured in revenue, during the third quarter was Cisco, followed by HP, 3Com, Nortel and Extreme.
"The EMEA Lan switch market continued to decline in the second to third quarter period, although compared to the previous quarter last year the market has grown significantly," said Peter Hulleman, senior research analyst with IDC's European telecoms and networking group.
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