Ciena celebrating win at AT&T?

Feb. 12, 2010
FEBRUARY 12, 2010 By Stephen Hardy -- Simon M. Leopold, communications equipment analyst and managing director at Morgan Keegan & Co., released a note today in which he expresses his belief that Ciena has won “an optical domain slot” with AT&T.

FEBRUARY 12, 2010 By Stephen Hardy -- Has Ciena won a place at AT&T’s table? A financial analyst thinks so.

Simon M. Leopold, communications equipment analyst and managing director at Morgan Keegan & Co., released a note today in which he expresses his belief that Ciena has won “an optical domain slot” with AT&T. However, he’s not entirely sure this is good news for the systems vendor.

“Winning a domain slot with AT&T could be a mixed blessing for Ciena,” he wrote. “The reference account with AT&T and better visibility likely improves investor confidence; however, the burden of meeting the requirements of this demanding customer represents a material challenge.”

Leopold speculates that Ciena triumphed over Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, and Nokia Siemens Networks.

A source at Ciena said the company would not comment on the note.

In September 2009, AT&T announced an initiative intended to "facilitate a more collaborative relationship with its equipment and software suppliers." The carrier said it would identify two suppliers in each of approximately eight technology areas or “domains.” While AT&T said that being named a domain supplier would not guarantee business, "the selected suppliers will work with AT&T to meet the company’s current and future needs, representing a significant opportunity for them to work in that domain for a set multi-year period." Ciena’s slot would be the second within the optical domain, Leopold says; Fujitsu won the first slot, he believes.

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