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SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, TJ Randall

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Top Global Telecom Networking Equipment Vendors Focus on Opex and Services Budgets in Order to Increase Profits, IDC Says

Global economic instability, intense competitive pressures, and decreased spending by communications service providers (CSPs) are all forcing networking equipment vendors to streamline and refocus their business strategies in order to maintain profits. According to new vendor profiles from International Data Corporation (IDC), eight of the top global networking equipment vendors -- collectively generating an estimated $124 billion in 2012 revenue, or approximately 90% of total worldwide network infrastructure revenue -- are placing significant emphasis on professional services and software product enhancements that can enable them to access CSP opex budgets in addition to capital budgets. Vendors profiled include Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, Juniper, NSN, and ZTE.

Pressure is mounting on CSPs to reduce their capex spend in 2013 to be slightly lower than 2012, and IDC expects this to impact many of the leading telecom equipment vendors. Additionally, as CSPs shift their focus to reducing their opex, improving time to service, and offering more innovative mobile broadband and cloud-based virtualization services with higher margins, equipment vendors must become more flexible and agile in order to evolve within this changing landscape.

"As network equipment continues to commoditize, the vendors look to sell software-based product offerings and value-added services in addition to network equipment as a way to drive margin expansion," said Nav Chander, Research Manager, Enterprise Communication Services. "Those vendors that focus on virtualized product strategies; embrace open, software-based architectures incorporating SDN concepts; and create value by driving CSP opex lower will have the greatest impact in the telecom market."

Additional findings from IDC's research include the following:

  • Ericsson and Huawei continue to be the overall global telecom product revenue leaders from 2010 through the first half of 2012 with Huawei poised to be the 2013 market leader
  • Cisco, Juniper, and Ciena have over 50% of their telecom revenue from the North American region
  • The smaller vendors such as Juniper and Ciena have invested a significantly higher percentage of overall revenue into R&D

The IDC report, Fixed and Mobile Network Infrastructure Vendor Strategies and Market Positioning (IDC #238666), analyzes the global telecom network equipment market. It provides a detailed analysis of each of the eight leading telecom equipment vendor's wireline, wireless, and OSS product strategies. Data on worldwide carrier revenue by vendor, vendor market share by region, and R&D expenditures is provided. In addition to discussing key telecom market trends, it provides a global overview of the equipment market split by the four major geographic regions: North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia/Pacific (APAC), and Latin America.

To purchase this study, please contact IDC Sales at 508-988-7988 or [email protected].

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 48 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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