Routers are the next victim of the chip shortage: Take care of it, or you could run out of internet


routers

The chip shortage that the technology sector is experiencing internationally is affecting a huge number of sectors, and leaves us a very long list to which routers are added today. What can I say, practically any type of device that uses an «IC» (integrated circuit for its acronym in English) will end up suffering, in one way or another, the consequences of this huge shortage of chips, and some giants paint a bleak outlook for the second half of 2021.

I do not want to anticipate, but the fact that they dare to give forecasts for the second half of 2021, and that these are not positive, It is quite a declaration of intentions: things are going to get quite ugly, so take care of all your electronic devices and the components of your equipment, since we are going to go through a complicated situation that will be characterized by supply problems, and by inflated prices that will affect routers too.

Today we have seen that, despite the shortage of chips, the sales of PCs have increased. This is curious, but I think it has a relatively simple explanation, and that is that, given the shortage of graphics cards and certain components, essential to assemble equipment by parts, more and more users are turning to preconfigured PCs. This shortage is also affecting the smartphone sector, the automotive industry and, as we have anticipated in this article, routers.

60 week delays in ordering new routers

It is a devastating fact that strongly reflects the problems that surround this sector. In case someone is lost with the conversion, a 60 week delay in ordering new routers equates to about 13 months, that is, more than a year. That’s how long it can take for the supply chain to be able to fulfill the list of components needed to fill those new orders. To give you context, the average waiting time was previously around 6 months.

It goes without saying that carriers, and providers, have not run out of routers, that is, they still have stock to cover a certain period of time, but according to Karsten Gewecke, head of the European business unit of Zyxel Communications, a manufacturer of routers based in Taiwan, companies have been very close to running out of routers on several occasions, and he says that We are in a situation, and in a moment, in which anything can happen.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has also been noted, and has greatly affected Internet use. In some areas of the United States, for example, it is still impossible to access acceptable speeds due to coverage problems and network saturation. On the other hand, routers already manufactured and new orders are not entirely safe either, since, in fact, a batch of Zyxel routers was blocked in the Suez Canal. A very marked shortage of routers, and an increase in their selling prices, could put even more pressure on the consumer, and on a technology sector that is suffering a true case of death by success.


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