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Infinera and China

Om Malik wrote an extensive article about Infinera three and a half years ago, and has a follow up comment indicating Del’Oro research shows Infinera is #1 in recent 10G optical switch deployments.

This is yet another example of technology research not keeping accurate score by focusing on the more traditional equipment vendors (Nortel, Alcatel, Lucent, Siemens, Fujitsu) and not counting the emerging Chinese vendors, particularly Huawei and ZTE. Huawei and ZTE both make wavelength switches and ship them in large amounts. Vitesse and Mindspeed supply the components at the heart of these switches and it is the Chinese vendors (and Nortel) who consume the most. Infinera’s not at the top of their list as a commercial partner though Mindspeed considers them a strong technical partner.

We don’t have a copy of the Del’Oro report, but it is an impossibility that ZTE and Huawei are not included in the top 5 vendors. We continue to see a lack of proper accounting for these vendors in carrier optical equipment and think the Nortels and Lucents of the world are radically underestimating the impact these companies will have at their core ILEC accounts. Just ask Marconi (uh… Ericsson) about Huawei and their experience bidding for the 21CN contract at BT.

Infinera is staffed by some very sharp ex-Lightera people, including a few of my ex-colleagues from Vitesse. They are certainly a company worth watching, particularly in an area that Om Malik fails to recognize- long reach, DWDM PON (warning, .pdf link), other than a throwaway reference to IPTV.


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  1. Here are some points of clarification regarding your comments:

    – Infinera referenced the Dell’Oro the DWDM Long Haul report, not the Optical Switch report.

    – Dell’Oro tracks DWDM Long Haul systems and Optical Switches separately, as the the technologies and products are very different.

    – The Dell’Oro DWDM Long Haul report includes data for Huawei and ZTE.

    – Infinera references 10 Gbps wavelength shipments for the third calendar quarter of 2005.

    – Huawei and ZTE are among the top 5 vendors in the Dell’Oro DWDM Long Haul report for total wavelength shipments (2.5 Gbps 10 Gbps).

    Posted by Shin Umeda | November 23, 2005, 3:12 PM