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Metro 100G “Heresy”

December, 2016

In a 2015 post discussing an OFC presentation of a well-known engineer in the business, titled “ROADMs Instead of Metro 100G Systems?”, the response from a technologist was, “Very interesting view, some may cry heresy.” fibeReality has been consistently rather bearish on public network deployment of metro 100G gear, including an earlier article: “Absurdity of Stressing Metro 100G Now,” posted in January 2015. During this month, we pointed to Cisco Systems’ silence on the matter as well as on our daily update page, noting Ciena stressing “the blur into both the convergence of long-haul and metro.” Although within the ill-advised endorsements of an optical supercycle, there is still a tendency to mention as one of the major contributing factors, high-end deployments of metro gear at service providers, the evidence continues to accumulate that the projections by some...

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Huawei May Hit Optics Component Space with Both Barrels

December, 2016

fibeReality believes that Huawei Technologies is striving to develop coherent optics and optical switching components, as well as potentially other types of new devices further down the food chain with the intent of going head-to-head across the world with major competitors in the market, including Finisar, Lumentum Holdings, and Oclaro. It seems that a logical assumption can be made that Huawei will follow the money in terms of prioritizing on particular technology. As we have recently discussed, the temptation for Huawei may get to be irresistible, particularly in its home country, in which massive networking buildouts will evidently continue indefinitely. With state control over the economy, there is always the possibility that it may be decided without any notice to substantially cut back or even halt purchases of optical equipment in China for a while. Yet, the major means of the...

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Ciena/Packet Design: First-Rate Acquisition

September, 2018

While Ciena’s historic record for acquiring companies has left a lot to be desired, its most recent buyout of Packet Design was a shrewd move. In contrast, Infinera, which at quite a late date, ostensibly was forced to pick up a struggling firm with a lot of incumbent roots, despite the continuing insistence by the only PIC-centric supplier that it possessed a leading-edge solution. Conversely, Ciena’s purchase of the Nortel’s assets to save itself was about nine years ago, and it is becoming even clearer to us that our expectation for a while will come to pass that along with Huawei, the two firms are set to end up ultimately dominating the international optical system market, especially on the terrestrial side. Yet, despite Ciena’s strengthening position in the space, the leadership still cannot seem to avoid making remarks that defies credulity. Verizon’s next-generation...

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Infinera/Coriant: On Capping Installed Base

September, 2018

We have mentioned that a number of operators with a sizeable installed base of either Infinera or Coriant are undeniably re-evaluating their network strategies. Of course, there would be even more of an imperative, if the service providers hit the wrong kind of lottery jackpot, and have gear from both vendors prevalent in their infrastructure. Our first reaction would be to advise them to strongly consider just filling out the remaining capacity of the existing equipment, and move on to another vendor for growth with new systems. However, the reality is that network planners at a high level still have to at least go through the motions of determining the strategic direction of the “new” Infinera because their jobs could be on the line. Yet, while intensive intelligence gathering, from a consulting firm, such as by fibeReality, chiefly concentrating on feedback from customers in the...

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NeoPhotonics: A Rationale for a Resurgence

October, 2018

Ever since the last optical boom in China, it has been easy to be critical about NeoPhotonics concerning limitations for growth in its traditional space with much of it based on a disproportionate amount of overexposure to that country’s marketplace, on the very low prospect of getting acquired (especially at any kind of a premium), and on the lack of a comprehensive diversification strategy. (NeoPhotonics did very briefly bring up “adjacent markets” during its last earnings call.) While all of these factors are clearly related to each other, it is the third one that could provide the supplier with the biggest competitive advantage in the long term. In the short term, fibeReality anticipates that NeoPhotonics will likely be one of only a few US optics companies to substantially benefit from the revival of ZTE, a recovery by the large customer, which this writer predicted (see the...

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