IHS Markit Router & Switch Survey: Cisco, Juniper, Huawei & Nokia form Top Tier

By Michael Howard, senior research director and advisor, carrier networks, IHS Markit


  • Among IHS Markit’s service provider respondents, Cisco, Juniper, Huawei and Nokia form a top tier separated by a wide margin from other router and switch vendors
  • Cisco was the top-scoring company in edge/core router and Carrier Ethernet Switch (CES) leadership
  • All four vendors—Cisco, Juniper, Huawei and Nokia—were named by respondents as leaders in next-generation routing technologies such as 100GE, vRouter and IP data center interconnect (DCI)

IHS Markit Analysis:

The IHS Markit router and switch vendor leadership survey measures service provider attitudes toward and perceptions of edge router, core router and CES manufacturers. The 20 responding operators to our study control 36 percent of worldwide telecom capex and one-third of revenue.

In the 2016 study, Cisco was at the top of respondent edge/core router and CES manufacturer leadership scores. Cisco—along with Juniper, Huawei and Nokia (including Alcatel-Lucent)—form a top tier clearly separated by a wide margin from the other manufacturers. Together, these four manufacturers account for about 86 percent of worldwide revenue market share for routers and CES.

Cisco, Juniper, Huawei and Nokia were the leaders in all five of the carriers’ top manufacturer selection criteria: price-to-performance ratio, product reliability, service and support, technology innovation and product roadmap. There was a big gap between these four and their competitors, with the sole exception being price-to-performance ratio.

Looking at the individual manufacturer selection criteria, when it comes to product reliability and service and support, Nokia was tops among respondents, followed by Cisco and Juniper. For technology innovation and product roadmap, Cisco and Nokia were numbers one and two, respectively. And for price-to-performance ratio, the Chinese vendors led with Huawei at number one and ZTE at number two.

Cisco, Juniper, Huawei and Nokia also led in other measures including unaided awareness, familiarity (or aided awareness), and equipment installed and under evaluation. The vendors likewise ranked at the top when survey respondents named leaders in next-gen routing technologies including 100GE, vRouter and IP DCI.

Router and Switch Survey Synopsis:

The 15-page 2016 IHS Markit switch and router vendor leadership survey sheds light on how global service providers select router and CES manufacturers, whose equipment they have installed and will evaluate for future purchases, and which manufacturers they consider to be leaders in key manufacturer selection criteria. The study features operator ratings of 11 vendors (Brocade, Cisco, Coriant, ECI, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Huawei, Juniper, NEC, Nokia [including Alcatel-Lucent] and ZTE) on 9 criteria.

For information about purchasing this report, contact the sales department at IHS Markit in the Americas at (844) 301-7334 or[email protected]; in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at +44 1344 328 300 or [email protected]; or Asia-Pacific (APAC) at +604 291 3600 or [email protected]