Infonetics: Carriers surprise as they rank optical equipment vendors

OCTOBER 13, 2009 -- Infonetics Research has good news for Nortel stakeholders hoping to drive up the final price of the optical and metro Ethernet assets Ciena has agreed to purchase. But Infonetics’ Optical Equipment Vendor Ratings: Global Service Provider Survey had positive tidbits for more solvent vendors as well.

OCTOBER 13, 2009 -- Infonetics Research has good news for Nortel stakeholders hoping to drive up the final price of the optical and metro Ethernet assets Ciena has agreed to purchase. But Infonetics’ Optical Equipment Vendor Ratings: Global Service Provider Survey had positive tidbits for more solvent vendors as well.

Infonetics polled purchase decision-makers at carriers in EMEA, North America, and Asia Pacific about optical transmission and switching equipment vendors. The survey, part of Infonetics' Optical Continuous Research Service (CRS), asked service providers which optical equipment vendors they have installed and are evaluating for future purchases, which they consider the top optical equipment vendors, which they consider leaders in 40G and 100G technology, and their familiarity with and ratings of optical equipment vendors.

"Carriers by and large see Alcatel-Lucent as both a commercial and technological leader in the optical equipment market, but they have issues with their pricing. Huawei performed surprisingly well in our open-ended questions about leading optical equipment vendors, especially considering most of the carriers we interviewed are based in North America and EMEA, where Huawei has little to no presence," notes Andrew Schmitt, directing analyst for optical for Infonetics Research.

According to Infonetics, survey highlights included:

  • In an open-ended question about 40G and 100G technology leaders, most service providers named Nortel as the top vendor. Other companies making the list (not in order of ranking) include ADVA, Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, Infinera, Juniper, Mintera, NEC, Nokia Siemens, and StrataLight/Opnext.
  • Service providers rated eight optical equipment vendors (Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia Siemens, Nortel, and Tellabs) on eight criteria: technology, product roadmap, security, management, price-to-performance ratio, pricing, financial stability, and service and support. There were several surprises in the ratings results, in Infonetics’ opinion; for example, Huawei received the third highest average rating for service and support, stereotypically considered Huawei's weakness.


More about the survey
In August 2009, Infonetics Research surveyed purchase decision-makers at service providers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (55%), North America (39%), and Asia Pacific (6%) that have optical transmission and switching equipment deployed in their networks.

The service providers participating in the optical vendor rating survey were a mix of incumbents (54%), and competitives (33%), ranging from large incumbent service providers to smaller fiber-based competitive carriers, that together represent 15% of the world's telecom capex and 19% of the world's carrier revenue, as reported in Infonetics' Service Provider Capex, Opex, ARPU, and Subscribers service.

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