Nortel claims 40G market leadership

JUNE 23, 2009 By Stephen Hardy -- With its assets up for sale, Nortel has begun to market them.

JUNE 23, 2009 By Stephen Hardy -- With its assets up for sale, Nortel has begun to market them (search Lightwave for Nortel). The bankrupt equipment vendor says it is "the clear leader" in 40-Gbps transport, based on a new report from industry analyst firm Dell'Oro Group (search Lightwave for Dell'Oro). Nortel says the report gives it a 41 percent share of a market that will grow to $1.2 billion in revenue worldwide by 2013.

"While the overall worldwide optical market declined 20 percent sequentially and 11 percent year-over-year mainly due to the effects of the global economy, the 40G market has shown continued growth and strength with a 1Q09 increase of 8 percent sequentially and 400 percent year-over-year," said Jimmy Yu, optical market analyst, Dell'Oro, in a Nortel press release. "We expect 40-Gbps revenue to grow at a 35 percent compound annual growth rate to a market size of $1.2 billion in revenue by 2013."

Nortel says it has risen quickly to the top of the heap in terms of 40G wavelength shipments according to the latest Dell'Oro report. The report shows that Nortel's share of the 40G market has increased from 31 percent in 2Q08 to 41 percent in 1Q09, the equipment vendor asserts.

During its latest quarterly earnings statement, the company reported 46 customers for its 40G technology. About one-third of those providers are new optical customers, Nortel now reports. In all, the company says it has shipped over 1,500 40G ports so far.

Nortel also touted its efforts at 100 Gbps, which includes seven field trials. (See here and here for examples.) The company plans to have its 100G technology available "later this year." Both its 40G and 100G offerings use dual-polarized quadrature phase-shift keying (DP-QPSK) with coherent detection. The Optical Internetworking Forum has selected DP-QPSK and coherent detection as the focus of its effort toward developing a 100-Gbps technology ecosystem.

"As the rest of the industry continues to race to develop a viable 100G solution, Nortel is able to leverage technology from our commercially available 40G solution that is easily deployed today and can be seamlessly upgraded to 100G without a major network reinvestment," said Philippe Morin, president, Metro Ethernet Networks, Nortel. "The rapid adoption of our 40G solution is not only driving new revenues, but also giving us a jump start on 100G leadership and adding to our loyal customer installed base."

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