It’s been a roller-coaster ride for global service-provider switching & routing (SPSR) spending. New market analysis from Ovum says sales declined in 1H12 before making a recovery to 2.3 percent growth in 3Q12. That didn’t last long, with the numbers falling again during 4Q12, leading to a nearly flat (-0.4 percent) result for the entire year. However, revenues in the fourth quarter were at the second highest quarterly level ever, and Ovum expects the end-of-year improvement to carry over into this year — but only in the low single digits. “A bright spot in the market is the IP/MPLS edge segment, which has had consistent revenue growth since 4Q09,” comments Ovum’s David Krozier. “Communication service providers have clearly been investing more heavily in edge network elements that have the most direct impact on customer experience and network monetization.” Operators spent $14.6 billion on new switches and routers last year, boosting Cisco’s market share to 40 percent, followed by Alcatel-Lucent, Fujitsu and Juniper.