CAMPBELL, CA – As operators continue moving to fiber as they upgrade building sites and mobile backhaul from TDM to Ethernet, fiber-based EADs will remain a much bigger market than copper EADs, according to Infonetics Research’s latest Ethernet Access Devices forecast report, which tracks revenue, units, and ports for copper and fiber Ethernet access devices (EADs).

“That said, it is clear that a growing number of mobile backhaul operators and transport providers are turning to EFM (Ethernet for First Mile) bonded copper technology, taking advantage of its extended reach and capacity in many applications and locations where fiber is too expensive for the return on investment,” says Michael Howard, principal analyst for carrier networks and co-founder of Infonetics Research. “In fact, EFM bonded copper EAD sales were up while fiber and Ethernet over TDM EAD sales were down in the first half of 2012.”

“TDM-based EADs aside, the EAD market is growing nicely on an annual basis, strongly influenced by healthy Ethernet service uptake. We expect operators to spend close to $5.6 billion cumulative on EADs over the five years from
2012 to 2016.”

Ethernet Access Devices Market Highlights
• Globally, the Ethernet access device market fell 4 percent in the first half of 2012 from the second half of 2011, despite growth in the EFM bonded copper EAD segment.
• Infonetics forecasts the EAD market to top $1.3 billion by 2016.
• While North America, where EADs first took off, remains the largest market with 54 percent revenue share in the first half of 2012, Latin America is the fastest-growing region for EADs.