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The Ethernet services forecast is our annual snapshot of communications service providers' Ethernet service businesses. The report covers key market trends with a quantitative market analysis.


  • Ethernet is supported by an impressive list of enablers: shifts and growth in capital spending favor Ethernet services versus legacy data services, while subsea and terrestrial optical network growth enables expansion of high-capacity Ethernet services.

Features and Benefits

  • Takes an in-depth look at key trends driving the Ethernet services market
  • Provides a quantitative update on market progress and expectations for growth to 2020.

Key questions answered

  • How large was the Ethernet services market in 2014? What was the breakdown for metro versus national deployments, and how will this change in the next five years?
  • How is the Ethernet service market changing from a port speed perspective? Is 100Gbps Ethernet being deployed?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations for CSPs

Forecast summary

  • The global Ethernet market is forecast to exceed $70bn in 2020
  • Comparison with the previous forecast

Results for 2014

  • Port and revenue growth continues as the market broadens

Long-range market forecast drivers and barriers

  • Ethernet epochs: the long view
  • The capex analysis now includes ICPs
  • ICP, CNP, and CSP data center construction continues
  • Bandwidth growth driven by data center intensification
  • Consolidation of IT assets for enterprise and government
  • The subsea cables
  • CSPs continue to add to their fiber-fed enterprise building footprint
  • A large-scale optical core refresh will enable further high-bandwidth service growth
  • Network function virtualization is on the way to becoming another network catalyst
  • The Internet of Things will lead to more things, more nodes, more Ethernet
  • The mobile market will continue to justify the extension of the multi-service backhaul network
  • Smart cities
  • The MEF’s Carrier Ethernet 2.0 and the Third Network are working to streamline operations
  • Competition is intensifying but localized
  • Dark inhibitors

Product group forecasts

  • Cloud connect and the waves of the future: 1Gbps and 10Gbps

Regional forecasts

  • The regions of the world adopt Ethernet at differing speeds

Market scenarios and warning signs

  • The digitization of global commerce


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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