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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.

Motorola and Broadlight

This news caught us by surprise. Motorola has invested in Broadlight, a supplier of silicon for GPON equipment. Our analysis of the GPON market (in conjunction with an extensive look at Passave) reached the following conclusions.

Tellabs – Broadlight
Optical Solutions (Now Calix) – In House
Alcatel – Freescale
Motorola (Quantum Bridge) – BPON in house, hiring an ASIC team for GPON
Hitachi – Unknown

Unclear what this means to the ASIC team in Andover, MA and in PA.

Regardless, we remain very negative on GPON as an opportunity for silicon PON MAC vendors and negative on GPON as a widely adopted technology over the next several years.