& cplSiteName &

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
From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    LRTV Interviews
    Unified Comms Finds Its Voice

    4|25|16   |   03:44   |   (0) comments


    Peter Quinlan, VP of UCC Product Management at Tata Communications, talks about the evolution of the unified communications and collaboration services sector and how voice is now a big part of current developments.
    LRTV Documentaries
    So... What Do We Do Now?

    4|25|16   |   03:24   |   (0) comments


    After a long hiatus, Max Dingman, the CEO of a GeeGhiz, returns for a motivational board room pep talk.
    LRTV Documentaries
    NAB 2016 Highlights

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Light Reading's Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick climbs down from the slots to tell us about the latest news in broadcast technology at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas.
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Deepfield's Craig Labovitz

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Shades of Ray
    Leading Lights 2016: Shortlists Announced

    4|20|16   |   0:53   |   (0) comments


    The judging is over and the Leading Lights 2016 shortlists have been published -- you can see who made the cut by clicking on this link.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Introducing MulteFire – Qualcomm at MWC 2016

    4|18|16   |   3.29   |   (0) comments


    MulteFire is the latest option for using LTE in unlicensed spectrum. As oppose to its close 'siblings', LAA and LTE-U, MulteFire operates solely in unlicensed spectrum, which enables it to offer the best of two worlds – LTE-like performance with WiFi-like deployment simplicity. In this interview, Sanjeev Athalye, Sr. Director, Product Management at Qualcomm ...
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Grant Van Rooyen of Cologix

    4|18|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    ONS 2016 – Demonstration of Huawei's NetMatrix Multi-Vendor SDN Orchestrator

    4|15|16   |     |   (0) comments


    This demonstration shows how Huawei's NetMatrix SDN Orchestrator (SDN-O) addresses an operator's core service agility needs for services spanning multi-domain, multivendor networks: it includes a demonstration of:
    - Rapid New Service Design: using YANG to model a complex example of multi-domain, multivendor L3VPN network connectivity service that ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    AT&T Wants to Own North Carolina

    4|15|16   |     |   (1) comment


    Venessa Harrison, president of North Carolina for AT&T, tells how the company will expand its GigaPower service beyond the seven N.C. cities it already serves.

  • This blog, sponsored by AT&T, is the second part of a ten-part series examining next-generation broadband technologies titled "Behind the Speeds."
  • Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    FCC Poised to Re-Regulate Wholesale Access
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/28/2016
    Amazon AWS Reports $2.6B Quarterly Revenue, Up a Colossal 64%
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/28/2016
    Mitel Asks: What Time of Day Do You Shower?
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/25/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.