Use of gigabit Ethernet in service provider networks will grow eightfold by 2005 -- with nearly 30 percent of revenues coming from 10-Gbit/s links. But Ethernet must become "carrier ready" to reach its full potential.
So says a recent report from Pioneer Consulting. The firm says use of 1- and 10-Gbit/s Ethernet in access, metropolitan, and wide-area core networks will drive sales to carriers seeking lower-cost technologies to expand their facilities and offer new data-intensive services -- including those that enable enterprises to build storage networks across multiple sites.
Industry sources bristle at Pioneer's projections, which estimate a gigabit Ethernet market of $44 billion by 2005. Even the most enthusiastic vendors in this market consider that figure excessive.
"The potential for metro optical Ethernet is large, but... I don't know what methodology they may have used," says Nan Chen, director of product marketing at Atrica Inc. and president of the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), an industry group.