Optical hardware market dips in Q1, finds Infonetics

A new report finds that quarter-over-quarter, from 4Q09 to 1Q10, the worldwide optical network hardware market decreased 14%.

Quarter-over-quarter, from 4Q09 to 1Q10, the worldwide optical network hardware market decreased 14% to $2.95 billion, according to the first quarter 2010 (1Q10) edition of the Optical Network Hardware forecast report from market research firm Infonetics Research.

Gains in optical equipment sales in North America and EMEA offset a declining Asia-Pacific market in the fourth quarter of 2009 to give the optical communications niche an overall sequential growth rate of 5% (see "Infonetics: Positive Q4 can’t rescue 2009 optical equipment market"). But that momentum didn't carry into 2010 -- not that it was expected to.

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"On the heels of a strong fourth quarter, the first quarter of 2010 showed the typical seasonal decline we've come to expect. The big question is what lies ahead for China and Europe, as both regions face rising uncertainty as 2010 progresses,” notes Andrew Schmitt, Infonetics Research's directing analyst for optical. “Europe gave back all of the gains from 4Q09, and then some; Asian capex continues to lead with Huawei being the prime beneficiary."

Other optical market highlights in the report include:

-- Asia Pacific is the only region that posted sequential growth in optical hardware revenue in 1Q10, up 4%.

-- Overall market leaders Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent have been within two market share points of each other for the past six quarters, taking turns in the lead.

-- ZTE posted the largest quarterly revenue share gain in 1Q10.

-- Fujitsu and Cisco posted large market share gains in the rapidly growing packet-optical transport market segment.

WDM spending was stronger than SONET/SDH in 1Q10, as service providers transition from risk-averse capital spending practices.

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Infonetics' quarterly optical report offers worldwide and regional market share, market size, forecasts through 2014, and analysis for metro and long-haul optical network equipment, including SONET/SDH (ADMs and terminals, metro MSPPs and crossconnects), WDM (transport, ROADM, and long-haul submarine line terminating equipment), and packet-optical transport systems.

The report also tracks the number of ports and revenue per port for WDM and SONET/SDH products by speed (Ethernet, SONET/SDH/POS, WDM), from below OC-48/STM-1 to 100G.

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