The Wall Street Journal published a biographical article (free till May 10th) on George Gilder, one of the chief exhalers that inflated the optical bubble of 1999.
I mentioned Gilder last week in my first post on Wintegra (WNTG). He has consistently spoken positively of a network processor company called EZ-Chip and the holding company LanOptics Ltd. (LNOP). His support for the company has been unwavering for years as he continues to predict an NPU revenue ramp for EZ-Chip 6 months into the future. I hope this isn’t because EZ-Chip is a leading sponsor of his annual Telecosm shindig. How about some introspection into why things aren’t working out as he projected?
I attended the Lightreading “Future of Optical Networking” conference in New York last week.
I had high expectations for the conference based on one I attended two years ago on Ethernet in the WAN. At that conference there were a number of participants from start ups and established companies who led a vigorous debate about what the future of SONET/SDH looked like. Even though I lived and breathed Ethernet over SONET/SDH at the time, and met regularly with the companies on the panel, the debate that ensued was highly educational and enlightening.
A few weeks back, while in CA for OFC/NFOEC, I was lucky to get a late night tour of 365 Main, a massive, state of the art data center near the Embarcadero in San Francisco. My guide, Peter Kranz, was someone I worked with and co-adventured with in College who is now the owner and CEO of Unwired, a San Francisco based CLEC. His equipment is in this data center, and he invited me in for a look.
Two things happened today. Ciena (CIEN) inked their contract with British Telecom for the BT’s 21CN project. And Marconi shareholders approved the sale of the company to Ericsson. Many readers know these two minor events have a bellwether common denominator – a willingness to meet the new price targets set by Chinese competition.
Just as Vietnam and Afghanistan were proxy wars for the 20th century superpowers, BT’s 21CN will be the first full-blown encounter between incumbent and Chinese research, customer service, accounting practices, and cost structures.