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Optical network sales took hit last quarter

Worldwide optical network hardware revenue dropped 12% to $2.6 billion between 4Q05 and 1Q06 as a direct result of ...


May 31, 2006  


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Worldwide optical network hardware revenue dropped 12% to $2.6 billion between 4Q05 and 1Q06 as a direct result of the 43% revenue drop market leader Alcatel took, says Infonetics Research in its quarterly Optical Network Hardware report.

Alcatel’s optical revenue was down in the first quarter, as it usually is, but their overall growth continues: revenue is up 10% in 1Q06 over 1Q05, while worldwide optical hardware is up only 8% in the same period.

Annual optical network hardware revenue is forecast to increase 14% to US$12.3 billion between 2005 and 2009, with the strongest growth coming from metro WDM optical equipment.

While most categories within the optical network hardware market were down in the first quarter, metro WDM ROADMs bucked the trend with a big 28% gain, as more manufacturers have rolled out ROADM-enabled gear, Infonetics said.

“The optical market is more cyclical than most, and Alcatel’s optical sales are more cyclical than any other company I’ve seen; a big fourth quarter followed by a low first quarter is the usual pattern here,” said Michael Howard, principal analyst of Infonetics Research.

“We upgraded our long haul WDM forecast because growth has picked up steam (27% gain between 1Q05 and 1Q06). A lot of carriers haven’t invested much in long haul since before the telecom bubble burst.”