Infonetics: Optical network equipment up 9% in 4Q11

Spending on optical gear grew 8% globally in the fourth quarter of 2011 (4Q11) over the previous quarter as big vendors surged. That’s the finding of the latest Optical Network Hardware vendor market share report by market research firm Infonetics Research.

Spending on optical gear grew 9% globally in the fourth quarter of 2011 (4Q11) over the previous quarter as big vendors surged. [Ed. Note: The original release said 8%, which is what we first posted. Apparently, Infonetics subsequently found an extra 1% somewhere.] That’s the finding of the latest Optical Network Hardware vendor market share report by market research firm Infonetics Research.

"Regional spending trends for optical network hardware were volatile in the final quarter of 2011, with North America down and the rest of the regions up sequentially, including a huge 63% gain in Latin America -- a region showing very positive long-term trends," noted Andrew Schmitt, directing analyst for optical at Infonetics Research.

Schmitt continues, "While the typical end-of-year budget flush failed to materialize in North America with AT&T and Verizon spending less, it did appear in full effect in EMEA, particularly Europe, up almost 11%. But the surge in Europe was due mainly to a surge in legacy SDH spending rather than of new WDM gear. Rising legacy spending is a negative leading indicator, as is the reversal in EMEA's rolling four-quarter revenue, which turned negative in 4Q11 after only two quarters of gains."

Highlights of the report include:

  • The global optical network equipment market, including WDM and SONET/SDH equipment, grew 8% sequentially in 4Q11, from $3.4 billion to $3.6 billion.
  • For the full year 2011, the overall optical network hardware market is up 9%.
  • In 2011, WDM optical spending grew 22% while SONET/SDH spending shrank 6%, as carriers continued to abandon investments in legacy technology in favor of ROADMs, coherent optics, packet-optical transport, and Optical Transport Network (OTN) equipment.
    ROADM spending is on a seven-quarter streak of consecutive gains, with shipments up a stunning 36% in 2011 over 2010.
  • In 4Q11, the largest optical vendors benefitted most -- with the exception of Cisco – including Huawei (up 35%), Alcatel-Lucent (up 20%), and Ciena (up 10%).
  • Notably, both Ciena and Infinera bucked the North America down-trend with positive quarterly optical revenue.

Infonetics’ quarterly Optical Network Hardware report provides worldwide and regional vendor market share, market size, and analysis. Equipment tracked includes metro and long haul SONET/SDH and WDM optical network equipment (transport, ROADM, submarine line terminating equipment), and ports (Ethernet, SONET/SDH/POS, and WDM).

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

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