Market research, analysis, and consulting firm ACG Research reports that worldwide sales of packet-optical transport systems dropped 16.1% sequentially in the third quarter of 2011 due to what the company described as “typical 3Q seasonality.” However, 3Q11 sales levels represented a 21% increase over the same quarter in 2011.
The quarter was particularly kind to Cisco, which regained first place in packet-optical transport market share with 22.7% of the total. Fujitsu held down second place, while former Number 1 Tellabs dropped to third with a 16.1% market share. An overall look at the third-quarter performance of the market leaders can be seen in the table below.
Source: ACG Research
The packet-optical transport niche matched the general trend of the overall optical network equipment market, ACG reports. The total worldwide optical network hardware market slipped 9.3% sequentially but grew 5.4% year-over-year in the third quarter of the year, according to ACG.
"Despite weak economies and lackluster employment trends, financial investment firms are still investing in optical networking products, albeit at a slower rate this quarter,” commented Eve Griliches, managing partner at ACG. “Content providers are deploying 100G as planned, and in fairly high numbers. We are in a fairly different market now, which is changing faster than previous generations. Demand from content providers is growing and spending by top-tier providers is being constrained.”
Despite a generally soft economy that has some carriers thinking twice about capex outlays, ACG says that some optical networking segments, such as OTN [Optical Transport Networ] architecture, are viewed favorably by carriers in general. However, since adoption of OTN standalone platforms can involve long selling and certification cycles, it may be a while before this interest transfers into actual sales.
Meanwhile, ACG predicts that component supply constraints due to the flooding in Thailand will likely begin to appear in the current quarter and may extend into Q1 2012, “although not by significant percentages.”
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