Optical network hardware market 'looking good' in 2013 says Infonetics Research

May 20, 2013
Proving that it’s all how you look at things, analysts at Infonetics Research say there’s reason for optimism among optical transport equipment vendors in 2013, despite the fact that sales during the first quarter declined year on year.

Proving that it’s all how you look at things, analysts at Infonetics Research say there’s reason for optimism among optical transport equipment vendors in 2013, despite the fact that sales during the first quarter declined year on year.

"The four-quarter rolling average for global optical WDM equipment revenue notched a third consecutive quarter of growth in 1Q13, and we believe the market will continue trending in a positive direction this year," notes Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst for optical at Infonetics Research, as the market research firm preps the release its 1st quarter 2013 (1Q13) Optical Network Hardware report May 24.

"On a year-over-year basis (1Q12 vs. 1Q13), total optical spending is down 5%, but this is only a result of massive cuts in legacy (SONET/SDH) spending over the past 12 months (down 30%). The WDM segment is up 10% year-over year, a welcome sign that spending in this more relevant segment is returning to long-term trend levels,” Schmitt adds. “I won't call it a recovery until WDM revenue is up by double-digit percents for several quarters on a year-over-year basis. But 2013 is looking good, especially in North America and China, where 100G rollouts are picking up speed."

Infonetics provided the following chart, which compares WDM sales to that of legacy SONET/SDH gear over the past four quarters.


Fiber-optic network hardware sales totaled $2.6 billion in the first quarter of this year, Infonetics reports. North America was the quarter’s beacon of light; it was the only region to see growth on a sequential basis, rising 7.5% from 4Q12.

The top vendors in the quarter, on an alphabetic basis, were Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Fujitsu, Huawei, and ZTE. Ciena had a particularly good quarter, surpassing Alcatel-Lucent to become the Number 2 vendor of WDM systems behind Huawei. NYSE newcomer Cyan also had a good quarter, increasing revenues 86% from the same quarter in 2012 (see "Cyan IPO to launch today").

Infonetics' quarterly optical hardware report covers worldwide and regional market size, market share, forecasts through 2017, analysis, and trends. It tracks metro and long-haul SONET/SDH and WDM equipment, Ethernet optical ports, SONET/SDH/PoS ports, and WDM ports.

For more information on high-speed transmission systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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