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Juniper charging hard into Cisco's turf

A recent study shows that Juniper Networks continues to claim more of the rival networking company's market for high-end routers.

A recent study shows that Juniper Networks continues to claim more of Cisco Systems' market for high-end routers.

Research by the Dell'Oro Group indicates that Juniper grabbed 38 percent of the $753 million market in the first quarter of 2001, up from 34 percent in the fourth quarter. Cisco netted a 59 percent share, down from 65 percent in the previous quarter.

The data shows Juniper's growing importance in the market, since the company has consistently taken market share from Cisco over the last few quarters. One reason Juniper continues to gain on Cisco is that it introduced its high-speed router early last year before Cisco could come up with a matching product.

"Cisco has a larger-capacity they win the speed and feed game," said Christin Armacost, an analyst at SG Cowen Securities. "But from a technological-elegance perspective, the Juniper box has greater performance."

The total size of the router market fell 10 percent to $753 million in the first quarter of 2001 from the previous quarter, the largest decline since 1997. The only other time the market declined was in 1998 from the first to second quarter, when router sales dipped from $26 million in the first quarter to $25.7 million in the second quarter.

The drop comes as telecom service carriers cut back spending on equipment, hurting the sales of many equipment makers as well as the component makers that supply them.

Dell'Oro's calculations cover routers with OC-48 capability or above, which moves data at 2.488gbps (gigabits per second). This includes Cisco 12400 and 12000 series routers; Juniper's M-160, M-40 and M-20; and the Avici TSR.

Avici Systems, a distant No. 3 in the router market, claimed 2 percent compared with 1 percent in the fourth quarter, though the company also managed to grow revenue 78 percent from the preceding quarter.