Ethernet LAN Switches Show Surprising Growth

Sales of fixed-configuration LAN Ethernet switches rebounded in third quarter 2001, according to analysts at Cahners In-Stat Group. Sales of Gigabit Ethernet over copper were "impervious to the economic slowdown and experienced solid quarter-over-quarter growth." Gigabit Ethernet and Layer 3 switches also drove growth in the number of ports. Overall, the Layer 2, Layer 3, and Layer 4 through 7 switch market grew by 2 million ports (nearly 6.5 percent) in the quarter, as Graph 3 shows. The reason for the increase in Gigabit Ethernet unit sales was simple—plummeting prices. In spring 2001, vendors introduced Gigabit Ethernet switches that cost less than half the average switch price in 2000.

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