Mobile backhaul growth spurs market for Gigabit Ethernet test equipment

April 4, 2012
New research by Frost & Sullivan contends that the key factor driving the Gigabit Ethernet test equipment market is demand for extra bandwidth caused by the flood of video applications on smartphones.

A new report by Frost and Sullivan, Global Gigabit Ethernet Test Equipment Market, contends that the key factor driving the global Gigabit Ethernet test equipment market is demand for extra bandwidth caused by a flood of video applications on smartphones that offer anywhere/anytime access. The research, now available from technology analyst firm Research and Markets (Dublin, Ireland), states that this trend is motivating carriers to change from synchronous technology over to Ethernet, and is particularly visible in the mobile backhaul segment.

“The year 2010 witnessed an unprecedented demand for Ethernet test equipment in the mobile backhaul space, with the large-scale investments made by wireline service providers finally paying off,” notes an analyst of the research. “The mobile backhaul application market has now moved into the growth stage of the product lifecycle, with demand for circuit speeds varying at the cell sites.”

The report reveals that, with the proliferation of bandwidth-hogging 3G/4G wireless devices, there has been an exponential growth in mobile backhaul traffic on service providers' networks, thus pressuring mobile operators to evaluate cost-effective backhaul technologies. With market being driven by converged data and applications such as data, voice, audio, gaming, and social networking sites, the research suggests that, per the IEEE P802.3ba specification, 100G and 40G technologies are well aligned with the projected need for more network bandwidth because of multiplay deployments.

“A positive trend for the market will be the increased requirement for monitoring and security that will impel the need for network analysis and hence, Gigabit Ethernet test equipment,” adds the analyst. “The rising demand for high-speed ports will also promote uptake levels.” The report also determines that the need for high investment in R&D poses a significant challenge to market expansion, but finds that vendors are continuing to invest in R&D to stay ahead of competitors, even while keeping track of service providers' infrastructure upgrades and new service enablement.

Proving ROI to end users also poses a challenge for the market, says the report. The analysis suggests that as technology improves and the functionality of test equipment increases, end users are becoming accustomed to purchasing test sets with greater capabilities across a range of technologies. Hence, the research states that supplier companies are focusing on offering future-proof investments by providing a cost-efficient model and a smooth upgrade path to 40/100G, which is even more expensive.

“Prices for test equipment have steadily fallen over the last few years, even as end users have experienced a greater need to create efficiencies and reduce unnecessary expenditures,” concludes the analyst. “This has increased pressure on Gigabit test equipment manufacturers to make available Gigabit Ethernet test equipment with high functionality for lower prices.”

Learn more about the report here.

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