Huawei leads optical network equipment market in Q4 2011

By Telecom Lead Team: Chinese wireless equipment major
Huawei is leading the optical network equipment market in Q4 2011.

In the fourth quarter, the largest optical vendors
benefitted most – with the exception of Cisco – including Huawei (up 35
percent), Alcatel-Lucent (up 20 percent), and Ciena (up 10 percent).

Both Ciena and Infinera bucked the North America
down-trend with positive quarterly optical revenue.

Recently, Infonetics said
that Ciena tops the list of vendors service providers consider to be leaders in
40G and 100G optical technology, next gen packet-optical transport systems
(P-OTS), and overall optical transmission and switching.

Ciena considered as leader in 40G and 100G optical technology

Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Infinera, and Nokia Siemens
Networks also received high marks from service providers in all three areas:
optical transmission and switching, 40G/100G, and next gen P-OTS. Infinera and
Nokia Siemens Networks are the only vendors being evaluated for future optical
purchases by a larger number of customers than have them currently installed.

The global optical network equipment market, including
WDM and SONET/SDH equipment, grew 8 percent sequentially in 4Q11, from $3.4
billion to $3.6 billion.

For the full year 2011, the overall optical network
hardware market is up 9 percent.

In 2011, WDM optical spending grew 22 percent while
SONET/SDH spending shrank 6 percent, as carriers continued to abandon
investments in legacy technology in favor of ROADMs, coherent optics,
packet-optical transport, and optical transport network (OTN) equipment.

ROADM spending is on a 7-quarter streak of consecutive
gains, with shipments up a stunning 36 percent in 2011 over 2010.

Market research firm Infonetics Research said spending on
optical gear grew 8 percent globally in the fourth quarter of 2011 over the
previous quarter.

“Regional spending trends for optical network
hardware were volatile in the final quarter of 2011, with North America down
and the rest of the regions up sequentially, including a huge 63 percent gain
in Latin America — a region showing very positive long-term trends,” said
Andrew Schmitt, directing analyst for optical for Infonetics Research.

While the typical end-of-year budget flush failed to
materialize in North America with AT&T and Verizon spending less, it did
appear in full effect in EMEA, particularly Europe, up almost 11 percent.

But the surge in Europe was due mainly to a surge in
legacy SDH spending rather than of new WDM gear. Rising legacy spending is a
negative leading indicator, as is the reversal in EMEA’s rolling four-quarter
revenue, which turned negative in Q4 2011 after only two quarters of gains.

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