Infinera 100G metro platform not imminent

Infinera Corp. (NASDAQ: INFN) management has teased observers with allusions to a new 100-Gbps metro-focused platform for almost a year (see “Infinera forecasts profit and a metro platform”). Based on comments made during a recent analyst call to discuss first quarter 2014 performance, the teasing might continue for several more quarters.

Infinera Corp. (NASDAQ: INFN) management has teased observers with allusions to a new metro-focused 100-Gbps platform for almost a year (see “Infinera forecasts profit and a metro platform”). Based on comments made during a recent analyst call to discuss first quarter 2014 performance, the teasing might continue for several more quarters.

The company has developed a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) for such a platform, CEO Tom Fallon reiterated to analysts on the call April 23. However, Fallon doesn’t think there’s enough demand for 100G in metro applications to force the company to rush out a metro-optimized 100G optical transport product.

While warning participants on the call not to “over-speculate” on the timing of such a platform, Fallon suggested that the company’s initial release of long-haul 100G might offer some guidance to observers who just can’t help themselves.

“If you think back to the long-haul market, the 100-gig long-haul market started basically in very late 2009 or early 2010. And we delivered our first platform in the middle of ‘12 when we felt that the economics and the volume for market receptivity were there. And we have done extraordinarily well in taking significant market share,” Fallon explained. “I would expect to have the same type of model for the metro.”

Asked later in the call when the starting point for the metro 100G market might come, Fallon suggested that while the industry may see some early adopters in the near term, the mass market won’t begin until 2015 or 2016.

“Understand the vast majority of the wavelengths that are in the metro today are 10 gig. They will start converting over time. It will be at least a couple, maybe even a few years before you’ve reached that peak transition in the wavelengths in the complete metro network,” added Infinera Co-Founder and President David Welch on the call.

Which is not to say that Infinera hasn’t already shipped 100G products for deployment into what Welch called “high-capacity metro” applications. In addition to the DTN-X, Infinera offers 100G on its DTN (see “Infinera: Hey, we updated the DTN, too”). Its current metro-focused platform, the ATN, sports 10-Gbps interfaces.

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