2013 optical hardware sales end year on flat note says Infonetics

As the market research firm predicted (see “Infonetics expects downturn in optical network hardware spending”), Infonetics Research reports that sales of optical communications network hardware didn’t see the usual uptick in the fourth quarter of 2013 – except, oddly enough, in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Despite the sudden signs of life in that troubled market, quarterly revenues overall of $3.1 billion were essentially sequentially flat, Infonetics says in its upcoming fourh quarter 2013 (4Q13) and year-end “Optical Network Hardware” report that it plans to issue February 24.

As the market research firm predicted (see “Infonetics expects downturn in optical network hardware spending”), Infonetics Research reports that sales of optical communications network hardware didn’t see the usual uptick in the fourth quarter of 2013 – except, oddly enough, in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Despite the sudden signs of life in that troubled market, quarterly revenues overall of $3.1 billion were essentially sequentially flat, Infonetics says in its upcoming fourh quarter 2013 (4Q13) and year-end “Optical Network Hardware” report that it plans to issue February 24.

The weak quarter left the market down 3% for the full year. However, Infonetics enters 2014 with a degree of optimism.

"Optical spending flattened in the fourth quarter of 2013, though it wasn't distributed evenly around the world or by vendor. Weakness was concentrated in North America, but a year-end capex surge in EMEA evened things up," notes Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst for optical at Infonetics Research. "All indications are that an all-clear from Verizon and AT&T is forthcoming and the Q4 drop was a pause rather than a reversal - and this is in line with our forecasts."

Looking back, WDM bucked 2013’s downward trajectory; the technology enjoyed its sixth consecutive quarter of growth in 4Q13, bring full year gains to 11% versus 2012. Deployments of 100G technology helped keep the momentum rolling. Meanwhile, the positive performance in the fourth quarter was not enough to prevent EMEA from recording an annual spending decline for the fifth straight year.

However, the view ahead is encouraging, according to Infonetics. Schmitt expects EMEA to once again account for a third of global spending within the next one or two years. And while China’s optical hardware spending grew “only” 6% in 2013, the report will forecast that market to expand further in 2014 as 100G rollouts increase.

Infonetics' quarterly optical hardware report reports worldwide and regional market size and market share; offers forecasts through 2018; and provides analysis and trends for 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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