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Absurdity of Stressing Metro 100G Now

January, 2015

A couple of financial analysts have been touting Ciena as the expected big winner for a future contract for a large 100G metro project at Verizon. While there can be little doubt that the vendor would be part of such a deal, it needs to always be remembered that these announced agreements never compel the service provider to buy one dime from any supplier, and so the actual amount of equipment purchased could be far less than initially indicated. Moreover, the conspicuous absence in the current discussion of Fujitsu, a vitally important metro incumbent vendor to Verizon, strongly points to the service provider buying less than a stellar amount of this gear anytime soon. Above all, current expectations for growth in the total 100G market are nothing to write home about – one market research firm, usually among the bullish crowd in general, is only projecting about a 25% increase in terms ...

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Would Nokia Sell AlcaLu’s Optical Landline Business?

May, 2015

A few years ago, Nokia decided to unload NSN’s optical networks division to focus more on the wireless sector. Now, with the proposed acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, it will be entering the fiber optic business once again, only this time taking on a comparatively gigantic piece of the pie. While there would be some potentially attractive aspects of the product line including for backhaul applications, it would not be completely surprising if Nokia were currently thinking about divesting the entire optical segment down the road because the market has only worsened since its sell-off to Marlin Equity Partners. The expected spinoff of the submarine optics portion of the business makes the remaining product line even less desirable because as a general rule, the margins tend to be much higher with subsea because in cases of new construction, customers require a full turnkey job including cabl ...

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To Infinera: Let Transmode Run as Freely as Possible

June, 2015

Infinera would be better off allowing Transmode Systems to operate as an independent division than to integrate it much into its own corporation. Despite all of the assertions to the contrary, their cultures could not be more unalike – the former, a high-profile, Silicon Valley-type of company with people consistently logging long hours, oftentimes grappling with very quick deadlines – the latter, a Swedish, low-key, usually pragmatic kind of firm with historically fixed, lengthy timeframes for R&D completion, with a strong belief in the necessity for taking long vacations to recharge one's batteries as well as to help maintain a relaxed demeanor in its development work. The biggest difference is that Transmode has been going after the sweet spot of the metro DWDM market – targeting the Tier II and below types of service providers and other customers in which there has not has been as mu ...

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ADVA Should Look at Buying Xtera

September, 2015

ADVA Optical Networking’s CEO mentioned that it “is considering a ‘larger deal [than the Time4 Systems purchase] more in the mid-term’ that could give it access to a new group of customers,” according to a recent article in Light Reading. Xtera Communications, which we suspect would love to find a graceful exit opportunity, and so it would presumably be amenable to a price quite attractive to ADVA, somewhat fits the bill, even if it is not necessarily "small enough to absorb into...its operations in a pretty seamless manner." Xtera is a pure long haul/regional play both on the submarine and terrestrial sides of the network, offering technology truly unique in the industry. Actually, it is that very last aspect that could be the most interesting to ADVA. More important than any products the supplier will introduce as a result of the Oscilloquartz acquisition, taking over such a major play ...

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Optical Line Interoperability Illusion

October, 2015

Although Microsoft and others have been discussing the notion of an Open Line System (OLS) to provide standardization with long-haul and metro equipment, there is little precedent for such grand notions ever coming close to being real with any technologies in the past. Naturally, large service providers are always inclined to ask for everything under the sun, including compatibility between vendors to potentially reduce their operational costs. (In responding to an RFI or RFP from the three largest incumbent carriers in the US, if a supplier does not at least say it has a plan to accommodate absolutely every request, it will immediately be eliminated from consideration.). However, despite countless successful interoperability tests that have been performed over the years, optical vendors, especially the biggest ones, at the end of the day, usually have absolutely no desire to enable thei ...

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