DSLAM Market Holds Steady

Despite the pick-up in activity in the DSL market, the Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer (DSLAM) market in 2002 held steady in terms of volume of ports shipped with Japan, China and Taiwan leading worldwide sales, according to a new study.

But while volume has remained steady, revenue has actually fallen because of lower prices, according to Henry Goldberg, a Senior Analyst
with In-Stat/MDR.

“There are a large number of vendors, big and small, vying for a share of this market, putting downward pressure on prices and overall revenues,” Goldberg concluded.

In-Stat/MDR reported that about 21.9 million DSLAM ports were shipped worldwide in 2002. Alcatel remained the dominant vendor of DSLAMs, having shipped almost four times as many ports as the nearest competitor. Alcatel was the leading vendor in all regions, except for the Asia-Pacific region (where they are also a major vendor).

Leading vendors in the Asia-Pacific region include NEC, Sumitomo Electric Industries, UTStarcom, and Samsung, and all of these companies had substantial increases in port shipments in 2002, due to the solid growth of DSL in this market.

Of the various flavors that vendors offer, however, only asymmetric was mentioned in the report. According to In-Stat/MDR, ADSL will remain the dominant type of DSLAM port sold over the next five years though there will be growing shares for SHDSL and VDSL, which are different densities of asymmetric data transfer.

The report makes no mention of metro-Ethernet, which enthusiasts see as a cheaper, flexible and scaleable solution especially with last summer’s 10 Gigabit Ethernet as an industry standard.

The report concluded that the growth rate in DSLAM port shipments declines over time and becomes negative by 2006 because the projected growth in number of new DSL subscribers slows, and eventually decreases in the later years of the forecast as the market matures.

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