Asia-Pacific market leads in optical networking equipment growth

NOVEMBER 11, 2009 -- Global spending of $3.6B in 3Q09 is propelled by a 33% increase in Asia-Pacific compared with 3Q08; Huawei strides ahead of long-time leader Alcatel-Lucent.

NOVEMBER 11, 2009 -- In its preliminary 3Q09 results for global optical equipment networking vendors, Ovum reports that the global optical networking (ON) market, led by strength in Asia-Pacific markets, totaled $3.6 billion, down 4% sequentially and down 10% compared with 3Q08.

"Regional results were mixed: the bleeding in North America appears to have stopped; Asia-Pacific, led by China, continues to exceed expectations; and EMEA and SCA remain moribund," says Dana Cooperson, Ovum's vice president, optical networking. "Several vendors are benefiting from China's ON spending spree, which is being propelled by 3G mobile builds, but none more than Huawei. On strength that extends far beyond its home market, Huawei has taken the top spot over long-time leader Alcatel-Lucent in the $15.2 billion market."

With most of the major vendors' 3Q09 results reported (Nortel being a major exception) and checked by Ovum, the firm's preliminary analysis indicates that Huawei's global revenues surpassed long-time leader Alcatel-Lucent's revenues by more than $100 million for each of the first three quarters of 2009. The Chinese vendor now leads the market by almost three percentage points.

Of the top ten vendors, only Huawei and ZTE, the dynamic duo of leading Chinese vendors, reported year-over-year revenue improvements, while quite a few showed sequential growth (Cisco, Fujitsu, NEC, Tellabs, and, by Ovum's estimate, Nortel). Besides Huawei taking the top berth, ZTE appears to have edged out Fujitsu for the number four slot. Nokia Siemens, which was the number five vendor as recently as 3Q08, appears to have slid just behind Tellabs into ninth. Cisco, meanwhile, just pushed out Ciena to re-enter the top ten.

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