New IDC Study Analyzes ATCA Adoption in the Telecommunications Industry: Huge Growth and Adoption Challenges Ahead

FRAMINGHAM, MA – MAY 15, 2006 – Approximately 50% of the network equipment provider (NEP) community will adopt advanced telecommunications computer architecture (ATCA) in parts of their product line by 2007, according to a recent IDC survey. Additionally, IDC anticipates more than 900% growth in ATCA adoption with revenue increasing from $790 million in 2007 to $8.6 billion in 2011.

"Rates of ATCA adoption vary, with some companies adopting immediately and others waiting until the next wave of design wins in order to adopt more of these commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)–based components for future telecom server products," said Lee Doyle, group vice president of Network Infrastructure at IDC.

ATCA faces a number of challenges to its widespread adoption. The technology needs to prove itself in terms of reliability, scalability, and performance. The ATCA community needs to prove its products will adhere to standards and will be truly interoperable. ATCA board and chassis volumes need to ramp up to provide expected cost benefits. Timing is another issue – some of the vendors that had originally considered ATCA implementations are planning microTCA implementations instead or will implement both over the next two years.

According to recent IDC findings, the NEP community is very supportive of the goals of ATCA and COTS technology and sees the value in having a common platform that meets their specific needs. The NEPs see the benefits in terms of lower hardware costs, reduced maintenance, ability to leverage third-party boards, and, most important, the ability to reduce vendor lock-in on their equipment and application servers due to the ability to move to other vendors' implementations of the same core standards-based components. However, NEPs face challenges such as the need to deliver new platforms and applications, and the need to reduce costs and improve engineering productivity.

IDC believes that network service providers will have an important, but indirect, role in the adoption of ATCA technology. Many leading NSPs are actively promoting COTS technology, and they like the idea of having a common industry-standard computing platform to run increasingly software-intensive networks. However, the impact will be indirect because NSPs (in most cases) cannot adopt ATCA directly into their network. They must rely on the NEPs to deliver ATCA-based server products (e.g., servers supporting IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) services) that they can deploy to modernize and update their networks.

IDC's new multiclient study, ATCA Opportunity: Adoption of Computing Architectures in Network Equipment, includes a market forecast (2006-2011) and survey results of more than 25 top executives at 15 network equipment manufacturers. The forecast document provides findings from a six-month-long study on the adoption of COTS and ATCA in the telecommunications industry by both NEPs and NSPs. IDC looked at the status from the supply side, including the current demand for ATCA products, pricing, availability, interoperability, and compliance with standards, and discussed the product offerings, road map, and strategy regarding ATCA, CGL, and SAF with a wide variety of suppliers. The survey report presents an in-depth investigation of issues such as the scope, attitudes, and timing of adoption of ATCA and commercial off the shelf platforms by network equipment providers.

To purchase this multiclient study, please contact IDC Sales at 508-988-7988 or email For additional information, contact Patrick Gorman at

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