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AT&T's "Open ROADM": More Skepticism

April, 2016

In defiance of AT&T’s uniquely leviathan network involving layers of infrastructure built over many years, the service provider continues to promote further leading-edge concepts that would ostensibly change the fundamental nature of its cost structure as well as its spider web of operational entanglements. These major shifts have been projected to occur in an immense way a long way down the road, whether it was getting to all-IP by 2020 (somehow in 2012, all of the T1s would be expected to disappear and OTN would cease to becomes a reality), and in 2014, it projected that over 75% of its network would be software-centric by the end of the decade. AT&T’s latest scheme was introduced at OFC 2016, the "Open ROADM", and while also based on the notion of "software control," it brings in the idea of "open hardware" or Open Line Systems (OLS) in which Verizon, at the same conference,...

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Bastardization of “All-IP” by Orange?

July, 2016

The marketization and politicizing of science can result in dire consequences, such as in environmental matters. While the ramifications may be less important in communications, such as the meaning of Ethernet being a moving target over time or with Luxtera being the only vendor to provide actual silicon photonics, albeit only for parallel singlemode, stretching the definition of basic scientific terminology, at a minimum, results in unnecessary confusion in the industry. In a Light Reading post in June, Orange appears to be discussing “all-IP” in a marketing context, not in a technical one. It is almost as if the headline could have been, “Stop the Presses – Orange Discovers Massive Number of Synchronous Optical Elements in its Network.” Of course, even with past projections by service providers years ago about moving to “all-IP,” which turned out to be inaccurate, there...

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Optical “Supercycle” Farce

December, 2016

In one our recent daily updates, we pointed out: “How can the [optical supercycle] term be used when one of the biggest vendors, Ciena, is only expecting single digit growth in fiscal 2017?” Also, the supplier evidently felt compelled to bend over backwards, and at an unknowable price, to report a record order of backlogs. With the exception of Chinese system vendors, the booming business mainly applies to component companies supplying them. Therefore, an article about three months ago was incorrect with its title: “A dormant tech sector is suddenly surging like it’s 1999.” Obviously, certain analysts on the Street have been pushing the exaggerated characterization for their own purposes, with our favorite that it is "a bona fide optical supercycle." Although Infinera has been struggling from in our opinion, principally managerial incompetence, certainly it would be performing...

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Infinera’s “Tellabsation”: Back to the Future

July, 2019

  Regular followers of fibeReality’s separate, quick-update blog were able to read our latest take on Infinera, as we stated: “We view the messaging [on its last webinar], as a clever means of slowly weaning the industry off the stress on PICs, by using language associated with these chips, as the company moves forward in new directions.” Given the fiasco associated with Cisco Systems’ acquisition of Acacia Communications, the requirement to move the attention on the company away from high-end optics in general becomes more pronounced, as it will not only need to wait for help from a different merchant DSP supplier for its Groove platform, but the odds of it creating an ICE6, and shipping it in volume, after giving up on ICE5, should probably be considered out of the realm of possibility. Thus, in the same way that the “Nortel” optical culture lives on at Ciena, the...

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Infinera: An Unanticipated Destination Point

November, 2019

Given this writer’s justifiable criticism of Infinera for almost the entire existence of the firm, it has been a little awkward to begin suggesting to optical engineering managers either looking for work or considering moving on from their present positions that they may want to take a serious look at opportunities at the supplier. fibeReality has been steadily gaining confidence that the prospects for Infinera have never been more positive. We are convinced that the influence of board member, Greg Dougherty, with his intense personality to be a winner, while being fiercely loyal to his good friends, including the CEO, Tom Fallon, along with the product reconciliation efforts of COO, David Heard, who has played an instrumental role in gradually changing the corporate culture away from spending lots of money on unprofitable gear, will likely result in a sustainable turnaround, and...

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