The market research firm said core router sales will grow faster than edge routers as major carriers migrate to converged multiprotocol label-switching (MPLS) core networks to accommodate triple-play service offerings. The five-year growth will also be fueled by demand for VPN services.
"High-capacity core routers will carry multiple types of traffic in the backbones of service provider-converged MPLS core networks," said In-Stat analyst Henry Goldberg in a statement.
Led by Cisco Systems, which dominated both edge and core router sales in 2004, In-Stat noted that worldwide edge router sales grew by 37 percent in 2004 to $2.1 billion over the previous year. In the same period, global core router sales grew 30 percent to $1.7 billion.
In-Stat also noted that the edge router market is becoming increasingly competitive as additional vendors enter the market.