The Internet is undergoing a major jump in transmission speeds as network operators expand deployments of 100 Gigabit Ethernet technologies in their backbone networks, notes Dell’Oro Group, and, during 3Q12, a record number of 100 Gigabit Ethernet router ports were shipped. “Shipments of 100 Gigabit Ethernet for Internet-class routers have nearly tripled over the first nine months of the year and are on track to generate about $500 million in router sales for 2012,” says Vice President Shin Umeda. “We expect demand to almost double again next year, making for a very significant opportunity for router manufacturers.” The group ranks the top five vendors like this: Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei Technologies and Brocade…"The microwave equipment market held steady overall in the third quarter, with wildly varying results across segments," reports Richard Webb, directing analyst/Microwave, Mobile Offload and Mobile Broadband Devices at Infonetics Research. "Current trends will continue, with TDM microwave equipment declining precipitously; the large dual-mode TDM/Ethernet microwave segment waning as well but at a much slower rate; and Ethernet-only microwave equipment surging year after year, powered by sustained mobile macrocell backhaul demand." Webb points out that Ericsson posted a 7-percent revenue gain in the quarter, giving it nearly a quarter of the global market; Huawei, which had more than doubled its microwave revenue during the second quarter, saw a 19-percent decline in 3Q12; and NEC‘s microwave revenue rose 17 percent, putting it within one marketshare point of Huawei. Alcatel-Lucent continues to lead the fast-growing Ethernet microwave segment; and Europe, the Middle East and Africa accounted for the highest regional proportion of microwave revenue, ahead of Asia Pacific, North America and Latin America…A poll conducted by U.K.-based Informa Telecoms & Media found that 98 percent of mobile operator respondents believe small cells are essential for the future of their networks. There now are 46 small-cell deployments by operators, including nine of the top 10 operators by revenue globally. In addition, 55 percent of respondents are most interested in public access deployments during the next 12 months, followed by enterprise rollouts (35 percent of responses). Almost half (49 percent) of operators said their greatest concern surrounding outdoor metro deployments are the planning issues (e.g., finding suitable sites, power, etc.), followed by backhaul challenges (35 percent). Almost all the survey respondents believe that LTE will be the biggest technology driver for small-cell deployments during the next five years, although interest in LTE-A is growing. The survey also found that Wi-Fi was deemed to be complementary to small cells, with deployments of both expected to take place simultaneously…Fitch Ratings‘ 2013 outlook for the U.S. telecom sector is “stable,” driven by slow revenue growth improvements. In large part, Fitch explains, this growth “reflects increasing data-centric demand, particularly associated with wireless data and wireline hosting and managed services.” The “stable” outlook is also supported by the sector’s strong liquidity and stable credit protection measures. Fitch expects EBITDA will rise in 2013 due to the continued capture of post-merger and acquisition synergies from transactions completed over the past couple of years. Partially offsetting this improvement is high handset subsidies associated with the latest iPhone release and the continued erosion of high margin legacy services.