"We don't think we're losing ground, actually," said Marcel Gani, Juniper's chief financial officer. "When we look at the specific market that we address, we think we've made incremental gains."
Gani spoke at investment bank Robertson Stephens' annual technology conference. His company's stock has fallen 27 percent over the past two weeks, following a market research firm's report that Cisco Systems in the fourth quarter increased its share of the high-end router market to 69 percent from 65 percent, while Juniper saw its slice fall to 27 percent from 34 percent.
Those figures reflect growth in other parts of the router market, rather than customers defecting from Juniper, Gani said. Juniper sells only to communications providers; Cisco also sells to other corporations and large enterprises. Juniper believes it hasn't lost any customers to Cisco, though Cisco is still the only real competition, Gani said.
The Juniper executive's comments echo those from the Dell'Oro Group, which compiles market share data taken from the reports of equipment companies. Tam Dell'Oro, founder of the research firm that bears her name, has said she believes enterprise customers--a market that Juniper doesn't address--have fueled Cisco's market gains.
But Juniper has no plans to start courting enterprise customers, said Gani, adding that such a move would be "opportunistic" rather than a good long-term strategy.
Data networks ultimately will be controlled by communications service companies rather than enterprises, he said.