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Growing data centre investments boosted worldwide Ethernet switch market sales to US$5.66 billion in the third quarter of this year, a growth of about 6.5 per cent over the previous quarter, according to a recent study.

Sales of 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Ethernet switches continue to grow because of increasing data centre installations, according to a report from analyst firm IDC.

The hottest markets this year were the Middle East and Africa, where switch sales increased by nearly 23 per cent year-over-year. The second largest growth was seen in North America where sales went up to 12 per cent. Sales in Japan dropped by 13.4 per cent.

The report said Cisco Systems’ (NYSE: CSCO)Ethernet switch market share held steady during the period at 62.3 per cent. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) controlled the second spot with a 9.4 per cent share of the overall switch market.

The combine revenues for manufacturers, Alcatel-Lucent, Juniper and Dell, trailed that of HP.

During the third quarter, manufacturers shipped 4.97 million 10 Gigabit Ethernet Ports, presenting an increase of 40 per cent year-over-year. IDC said the newer 40 Gigabit Ethernet market is still starting to reach critical mass.

The analyst firm said the growth in network equipment sales was also caused by increasing mobile device usage. The bring-your-own-device trend is driving network investments.

Sales of enterprise Wi-Fi equipment rose by 12.8 per cent during the third quarter of 2013. WLAN markets are still one the fastest growing networking markets, IDC said.

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