Ethernet, a technology developed originally for LANs, is emerging as a major driver of telecommunications networks. As a result of service provider demand, the total metropolitan Ethernet equipment market will increase from $837 million in 2002 to $4.4 billion by the end of 2007, representing a 39 percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years, according to a new report from IDC entitled "Worldwide Metro Ethernet Equipment Forecast and Analysis, 2003-2007."

"The metro Ethernet equipment market is an enormous opportunity for vendors," said Sterling Perrin, senior research analyst in IDC's Optical Networks program. "Revenue and growth will be substantial and should attract the attention of any large telecommunications and networking suppliers looking for growth opportunities over the next five years."

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