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Alcatel routes onto Cisco's turf

The French telecom equipment maker announces plans to ship high-speed networking devices, a lucrative market now dominated by Cisco and Juniper.

Alcatel on Wednesday announced plans to ship high-speed networking devices, a lucrative market now dominated by Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks.

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Alcatel moves in on Cisco and Juniper
Yves Le Maitre, VP Core Data Products, Alcatel USA
The French telecom equipment maker announced a new high-end router that will help telecommunications carriers and Internet service providers build faster networks. Routers send Net traffic over a network at high speeds.

Alcatel will ship the device next May, joining a raft of established and start-up networking companies vying for control of a market that is expected to reach $2.1 billion in sales this year and $12 billion by 2003, according to market research company RHK.

Cisco and Juniper are the two primary players in the market, with Cisco capturing 75 percent of sales in the 2000 second quarter and Juniper nabbing 22 percent, according to market research firm Dell'Oro Group.

Other companies have recently jumped into the market, including Foundry Networks and start-up Avici Systems. Lucent Technologies and Marconi are developing their own high-speed routers, while Nortel Networks recently scrapped plans to ship its own product, choosing instead to sell Juniper's product to its customers.

Alcatel on Wednesday announced two products: a high-end router that will sit on the core part of the network, where the brunt of the Net traffic travels through, and a routing device that sits in the portion of the network where service providers' networks intersect.

The higher-end router is currently being tested by France Telecom and other carriers, an Alcatel executive said.

The new routing devices are based, in part, on technology acquired in the $7.1 billion acquisition of Newbridge Networks, completed earlier this year.