Light Reading

Infinera CEO Campaigns for Growth

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
9/5/2012
50%
50%

Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) CEO Tom Fallon says he won't be updating his company's quarterly guidance as he takes the stage today at the Citi Technology Conference in New York City.

Whew.

But will he announce a new customer? We'll see.

What is worth noting is that this week's speaking engagement comes almost exactly one year after Infinera’s launched its DTN-X packet optical platform, based on 500Gbit/s photonic integrated circuits (PICs), an announcement that had Infinera jumping ahead of the 100Gbit/s crowd after it took a pass on the 40Gbit/s market. (See A Peek Into Infinera's PICs and Infinera Unleashes Coherent 100G.)

Infinera has at least 10 purchase orders for its DTN-X platform, all of them signed since mid-June. One of those orders is from a Tier 1 carrier, widely believed to be Verizon Communications. "The Tier 1 that we have won we are not at liberty to say who it is yet, but I believe we’ll have that ability over the next quarter," Fallon tells Light Reading.

Infinera’s announced customers for the DTN-X include Cable & Wireless Worldwide and research and education network Dante. "It’s still a young market and for us to come in with this many customers in the first quarter of shipping, I’m pretty pumped up," he says.

Fallon’s feelings of confidence come not long after Infinera was passed over by XO Communications Inc. for its first 100Gbit/s deployment. The carrier committed to Nokia Siemens Networks instead. Though Infinera is an XO supplier, and XO indicated it will use Infinera’s DTN-X, the perception was that Infinera’s platform was not ready for the August announcement. An Infinera spokesman admitted that the DTN-X was not ready to fill what he described as a "stop-gap" need for XO, but added that XO's evaluation of the vendors came in the first quarter, before the DTN-X was ready to move off the loading dock.

"The vendor selection for 100G deployment across the XO network is not yet final," the Infinera spokesman says.

[Ed. note: For more on XO's NSN selection and how it unfolded, please see: XO Deploys First Nationwide 100G Network.]

Legacy laggards
Infinera, like Ciena, at least won’t be burdened with legacy gear as it tries to avoid the macro-economic trends cutting into the optical sector. Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst, optical, at Infonetics Research, suggested a few weeks ago that the Synchronous Optical Network (Sonet) market was cratering and said companies with revenue weighted toward legacy Sonet platforms face more of a threat.

"If your business is half WDM and half Sonet/SDH, and one is declining 15 percent a year and the other is growing 15 percent, your top line revenue is intrinsically flat," Schmitt says. "So companies with large amounts of legacy revenue in Tier-1 carriers have massive growth headwinds. But that is more a reflection of financial condition, not the quality of their WDM products."

Schmitt indicated that the increasingly busy 100 Gbit/s marketplace may offer some daylight, with carriers now able to get competitive bids from a longer list of suppliers. "Prices are dropping fast, so evaluation of 100G is going on in a big way now," he says.

That Infinera is pushing 500 Gbit/s flex-coherent superchannels on the DTN-X while most others are still focused on 100 Gb/s line cards should not delay appeal of fatter pipes, Schmitt adds. "There are always bleeding-edge customers who need that kind of bandwidth, but decisions on what I deploy today are about what I will need in the years down the road, so whether I can fill a 500G pipe immediately isn’t the core issue."

Fallon is betting that service providers will realize the benefit of investing in the packet-optical convergence, an area where PIC provides power and space benefits to allow lower-cost integration of transport, switching and bandwidth management. "Convergence of bandwidth management, switching and transport really is becoming a requirement in the industry," he says.

"There’s energy around how do we lower all costs, not just transport, not just switching, not just routing, but overall. People who are putting in 40G networks now are putting in less cost-effective networks than the competitors doing 100G, and that kind of mismatch in the industry won’t exist for very long," Fallon says.

The question for Infinera and other optical suppliers is how long they will have to wait. Fallon notes that the whole sector is focused on one question: "How much will the industry grow this year? Will it be 5 to 10 percent, or will it be more like 2 percent? If it stays flat, that’s a big deal for both Sonet and WDM."

There is increasing evidence that optical investor confidence is being shaken by the economy. Ciena's recent report and subsequent stock price drop and Infinera's string of quarterly losses aren't helping. (See Burnt Ciena: Optical Stock Falls After a Tough Quarter.) But Schmitt says there's a more optimistic angle here. "If Infinera takes three quarters rather than one to be profitable that isn't a big deal two or three years down the road. Quarterly results are important but you need to ignore the high-frequency noise."

— Dan O'Shea, special to Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Anshul Sadana answers questions from Steve Saunders, Light Reading's founder and CEO, about Arista's CloudVision, a global cloud network controller for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivering a turnkey solution for cloud networking.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Between the CEOs
Video Exclusive With Basil Alwan, Alcatel-Lucent

7|24|15   |   26:44   |   (5) comments


Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
VDF: Enable the Financial With Mobile Money

7|20|15   |   06:53   |   (0) comments


Ian Ravenscroft discusses how operators can expand to occupy the entire digital services value chain through service innovation.
LRTV Custom TV
Telefónica on OSS Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Jose Gonzales discusses the details of Telefónica's operation transformation program.
LRTV Custom TV
Judi Achmadi on Huawei's Cloud Storage Solution

7|20|15   |   03:33   |   (0) comments


Judi discusses the key business goals of TelekomSigma's public cloud service and how Huawei's solution helps them address challenges.
LRTV Custom TV
KPN Enlightening Digital Business & IT Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:19   |   (0) comments


Rob de Beer discusses the changes that operators need to make with service innovation now coming from the Internet world.
LRTV Custom TV
Stratus Telco-Grade Cloud Solutions & NFV

7|20|15   |   07:34   |   (0) comments


Ali Kafel from Stratus Technologies addresses high-availability concerns within the telco industry with a solution that enables telcos to provide high-availability and stateful fault-tolerance using a software-based approach.
LRTV Documentaries
The Six Million Dollar Business Man

7|20|15   |   01:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Saunders, publisher. A man barely alive after an acquisition malfunction imploded the company he founded. Gentlemen, we can rebuild Light Reading. Better, faster, stronger.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Anukool Lakhina, Guavus

7|20|15   |   38:51   |   (1) comment


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
LRTV Custom TV
IBM's Flash Storage With Intel QuickAssist

7|20|15   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Intel's Bev Crair and IBM's Eric Herzog discuss how IBM's V9000 Flash Storage System has helped customers around the world. Featuring real-time compression powered by Intel QuickAssist Technology, the V9000 is a next-gen flash storage solution.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
To keep up with consumers' increasing digital lifestyles, an IT system and operating model overhaul is required using a modern BSS, IES and analytics.
Hot Topics
Eurobites: Nokia Seals HERE Sale
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 8/3/2015
Verizon Small Cells Ready to Rock in Chicago
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 7/31/2015
Cable Feuds With Senate Dems Over STBs
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/31/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
I was pleasantly surprised when Ericsson recently agreed to let me interview its CEO, Hans Vestberg. Traditionally, mega-companies like Ericsson (or Cisco) have kept ...
Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
Cats with Phones
Comes With Free Phone Stand Click Here
Who says cats don't have any skills?