Strong demand for core routing and switching will propel market revenues from $3.7 billion in 2001 to $7.5 billion by 2006, suggests Probe Research. "The core must be continually upgraded to keep up with bandwidth demand," says Maria Zeppetella, Probe's vice president for network infrastructure. "These network upgrades will drive the IP router market as next- generation features drive the ATM switch market."

Though the demise of ATM switches has long been predicted, the increased flexibility and speed of next-generation switches will offer carriers the ability to make a gradual switch to an all-IP network. "ATM switches will be introduced in the next year that will serve as ATM/MPLS/IP platforms, allowing carriers to extend the life of their ATM networks as they move to IP."

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