ACG Research

ACG Research
We focus on the Why before the What

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First Half Spending Boosts 2Q Router and Switching Market

Service providers are requiring more capacity because of an increase in mobility and agile cloud solutions, which are stimulating growth.

The Worldwide Carrier Routing & Switching markets increased revenue 7.0% in Q2 but remained flat 0.0% year over year. Global capex was up 5% q/q, and IT spending increased 6% q/q. In spite of this positive growth, ACG Research anticipates a challenging market in the second half of the year and lower service provider routing spend in Q3 with projects being pushed out to 2015. “AT&T and Verizon continue to surpass the industry average for operating margin. AT&T posted 17.2% operating margin while Verizon posted 24.4%. Many other SPs also saw solid margin gains, which had a positive impact for service provider equipment vendors in the first half of 2014,” states Ray Mota, CEO of ACG. “The router market outlook is uncertain because of architectural transitions, consolidations and larger then expected spending in the first half. The good news is that projects are not being cancelled but just pushed out.”

The rise in fixed broadband traffic and mobile broadband traffic on 3G/4G and LTE networks will continue to put pressure on providers’ networks. Streaming residential video is rapidly driving average household bandwidth requirements: 31% CAGR from 2.9 Mbps in 2014 to 7.3 Mbps by 2018. Smart phones, tablet, and next-generation devices as well as pressure on service providers to provide content-rich applications will force many service providers to upgrade their access, aggregation, and core networks, and mobile backhaul.

Q2 Total Worldwide Carrier Routing & Switching market posted revenue of $2.9 billion. Core Routing revenues were up 3.0% q/q but down 3.8% y/y. Edge Routing and Switching revenues increased 8.0% q/q and slightly up 1.0% y/y. 

Alcatel-Lucent reported routing and switching revenue of $603 million, increasing 17.3% q/q and 2.8% y/y. ALU’s solid quarter in routing is primarily attributed to the company’s gains in the IP Edge Routing segment, Multiservice edge routing and mobile backhaul. Cisco posted router and switching revenue of $1.46 billion, flat -0.05% q/q and -4.3% y-y. Cisco, which had a solid Q1, is transitioning from a hardware-based revenue to an annuity model, which impacted Q2. Juniper Networks has router revenue of $579.8 million, increasing 12.2% q/q and 12.5% y/y. Juniper continues to focus on launching new products and initiating cost reductions to drive growth. With software defined networking gaining traction as a solution for deployment, Juniper expects to capitalize on the anticipated increase of SDN and network function virtualization.

  • Data center interconnect is a vital part of the service provider edge; 6% of the overall edge market is dedicated to data center interconnect. 
  • Operators are more focused on the drivers in the edge of the network. The outlook for routers: the edge segment, which is projected to reach $12.2 B in 2018, is three times the size of the core router market, which will increase $3.3 billion in 2018.
  • Service providers are struggling with both internal and external challenges: rapid technology adoption, ongoing support for legacy technologies, heterogeneity of technologies and multivendor networks. External challenges include loss of high-margin legacy services, over-the-top providers, low-cost providers, regulations, increasing traffic, and competition from their own suppliers.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Business Case for NFV/SDN Programmable Networks

ACG Research analyzes three programmable High-IQ network use cases that were created by Juniper Networks. The analyses show the benefits derived from the deployment of programmable networks for service providers. A cloud customer premise equipment and virtual firewall (vCPE) use case replaces physical CPE with a simple on-premise Ethernet device and moves IP virtual private network  and firewall functions to the cloud. This produces a 36 percent five-year net present value increase as compared to the physical CPE solution. A real-time network self-optimization use case replaces manual traffic engineering processes. This produces a 27 percent five-year total cost of ownership  savings compared to the manual processes. An elastic traffic engineering use case for a national all IP core network demonstrates the advantages of an SDN solution as compared to the present mode of operations. The SDN solution reduces bandwidth and associated link capital expenses by 35 percent while maintaining all network service level agreements.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Demand for All Things Video, the Implications

Although video has transformed public and private networks and continues to drive network deployments it also dwarfs all other network traffic types, for example, Netflix can account for upwards of 40 percent of local Internet traffic. The massive amount of bandwidth required drives the need for capacity in all parts of the end-to-end network. If you solve this problem for video all other traffic, voice, email, web and even IoT benefits as well.  

Consumers have an unending appetite for all things video. They are watching TV shows, movies, YouTube, Vines, Facetime or Skype on every device they have. Advertisers are increasingly moving to video ads and away from static banners. Truly live TV is exclusively sports and news. Appointment TV is a thing of the past. Everything is becoming on demand.

The implications of these trends cannot be underestimated. Not only do they impact all aspects of the telecommunication and Internet ecosystem, they impact the movie and television industries in a major transformation way. As these businesses struggle to adapt to overwhelming innovative forces they only know one thing for certain: They don’t want video assets to go the way of music.

Service providers, facing a hypercompetitive zero-sum market, are attempting to adapt and upgrade their physical networks, data center, core, metro and access to support video traffic. The race to 1Gbps per home is well underway. Back office systems are adapting as well. Marketing departments are creating new service bundles with higher data caps and source funded noncap traffic, such as taking an order to sending a bill, all of which need to be supported. Legal departments are impacted too. Issues such as net neutrality, asymmetrical interconnects, must carry and spectrum acquisition are just of few of the array of legal issues facing service providers globally.

Mobile operators are in no way immune from video. As they address their coverage and capacity issues video traffic is front and center. More smart phones mean more handheld video screens, which use more bandwidth and have much longer connection times. Here too, all aspects of the mobile operators business are impacted. Small cell deployments, WiFi integration and SON plus the emerging requirements of 5G must address the demand for video.

Video might just be a lot of ones and zeros, but the impact of massive amounts of video is disrupting the entire telecommunication industry. It is safe to say that decisions made by the entire ecosystem, service providers, equipment vendors, software vendors, semiconductor vendors, must address the onslaught of video traffic.