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Soaring sales of secure routers helped the enterprise router market grow at a lick in Q1. But the market remains soft.

Worldwide enterprise router revenues were £1bn in Q4, eight per cent up on the previous quarter. Annual revenues are forecast to grow at a not-exactly-booming 13 per cent between 2003 and 2007, according to Infonetics Research.

The analyst firm projects soaring sales of secure routers during this time, with Cisco leading the charge, but - it warns - it will "only take one vendor with extremely disruptive pricing and a little traction to impact the entire market".

Linksys, Cisco's subsidiary, occupies second place by revenue and first by shipments in the Infonetics Q104 league table, D-Link comes in at third, followed by NETGEAR.

Last quarter was marked by declines in average selling prices (ASPs). Shipments were up 17 per cent from Q403, compared with the eight per cent growth in revenues. North America posted declines in both shipments and revenues, while EMEA and Asia Pacific experienced double-digit growth.

In the mid-range enterprise router market, revenues and shipments grew in all regions, especially in EMEA. Infonetics projects unit shipments in this product category to grow 74 per cent between 2003 and 2007.

It was a bad quarter at the low-end, with worldwide enterprise router revenues down 18 per cent on flat shipments, compared with Q403. EMEA had strong growth in shipments in Q4 and Asia Pacific had moderate growth, which means that sales in North America sucked. ®

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