ADVA/MRV: Another Ecosystem Break

July, 2017

      In the past, we have provided countless examples of the dominant ICPs demonstrating an unsatisfactory amount of concern for the long-term viability of the optical ecosystem. One of the most damaging practices has been the emphasis on OLS, which allow these customers to selectively pick and choose various piece-parts of different system vendors in order to achieve the lowest cost per bit possible in the aggregate, including less expense somewhat operationally, such as with the least amount of power usage. In our opinion, it is quite clear that ADVA Optical Networking felt forced to buy MRV, despite at a minimum, the short-term headaches of having to support a second platform (which has hardly been a revenue/profit powerhouse) as well as the burden of taking on debt, so that it could obtain unique transponder as well as optical plug solutions for its current FSP 3000 CloudConnect...

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Lumentum and Oclaro: Back to the Future

May, 2017

Followers of our blog on LinkedIn, which received several updates each of the five days at OFC 2017, were able to read the rather profound comment by the Chief Commercial Officer of Oclaro at the “Fireside Chat” of the OIDA Executive Forum Program concerning the importance of sticking “to internal competence, such as it is doing in the 1310nm and 1550nm wavelength space.” Similarly, he pointed out the wisdom of the company’s two major competitors, Lumentum and Finisar, “looking to take advantage of its fabs for greater profitability” in penetrating the 3D-sensing market. In the past, we commented on the risk of moving too far away from [one’s] own knitting. Despite major purchases and mergers by prominent vendors in the past in order to diversify, they have returned to their core competencies. For example, Lumentum, the former JDSU, combined with Acterna, a test and...

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Verizon Retains “Oath” of Fealty to Itself

January, 2019

The “Oath” division of the most inventive, incumbent ISP on the planet, including the design of a long-haul network, which is as “future-proof” as humanly possible, and standing by itself in its construction of the FiOS network (without any direct government support), is now called the Verizon Media Group. While the service provider has made notable missteps in the past, including initially projecting very low on the cost of a key component of 5G wireless, understandable in its role as a pioneer, the inability of so many people analyzing the corporation to give it the benefit of the doubt, is simply astounding. When a very tiny minority of consultants, including this writer, explained the reasonable rationale behind Verizon pulling the trigger on FiOS last decade, as it did not prove-in on a first-cost basis, a good number of critics preferred the narrative that the operator was...

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Zayo Had Sought to “Move Cups Around”

May, 2019

In fibeReality’s opinion, a kind of “shell game” seems to be conspicuously occurring at times in the telecommunications market, without always the precisely nefarious connotations frequently associated with the term, including not only temporarily involving Zayo Group, but WindStream Communications in the past, as well as currently AT&T. While the exact details of the plans of the three entities have been dissimilar, the intended outcomes have a lot of commonality -- asset divestitures to maximize profit in one group versus the other. In other words, it is about making the individual part of a company really profitable, while the other tends to assume the losses, and then getting a better multiple in the overall valuation. We have recently touched on AT&T’s apparent plan to shift as much of its excess infrastructure as possible from the wireline side, including central offices,...

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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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