Light Reading

Infinera Officially Lands CenturyLink

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
12/4/2012
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CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) has upgraded its optical backbone with the Infinera DTN-X platform, as expected.

Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) announced the deal Tuesday morning. Among the motivations cited for CenturyLink's upgrade is the ability to deliver 100Gbit/s Ethernet services to customers and to its own data centers.

Qwest first started using Infinera gear in 2004, but it wasn't clear the carrier would continue doing so after being acquired by CenturyLink last year.

Why this matters
This was pretty much expected, as Infinera has been talking about a U.S. Tier 1's interest in the DTN-X, and sources have been pointing to CenturyLink lately. The other popular guess was Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), which had participated in the DTN-X launch event.

The bigger picture, though, is the growing customer roster for the DTN-X. Infinera's bet on skipping a 40Gbit/s generation, going straight to 100Gbit/s channels and a 500Gbit/s superchannel, would seem to be paying off. The system has won at least 17 customers (based on the 16 that CEO Tom Fallon cited in October's earnings call) since being announced in September 2011.

For more



— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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Pete Baldwin
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Pete Baldwin,
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12/5/2012 | 5:16:36 PM
re: Infinera Officially Lands CenturyLink


In all seriousness, I wonder if the TeliaSonera IC win is a bigger deal than the CenturyLink one...

^Eagle^
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^Eagle^,
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12/5/2012 | 5:16:36 PM
re: Infinera Officially Lands CenturyLink


OK, yes, CenturyLink is a good company.  but to call them a Tier 1 carrier is a bit of a stretch!


Note: i have done a lot of business with them over the years.  I even remember where they began: with the consolidation of the old San Marcos Telephone company into a few other tiny regional plays.  They have improved and grown for sure.  But Tier 1?  Not.


So kudo's for IFN winning Century.  Nice business.


But lets not get our marketing team to over hype this.  


Now a VZ, or ATT, or even a Qwest or Sprint announcement that they were replacing their existing infrastructure and going with IFN pervasively in their core transport networks.... that would be a T1. 


sailboat.

^Eagle^
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^Eagle^,
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12/5/2012 | 5:16:35 PM
re: Infinera Officially Lands CenturyLink


My mistake.  I had forgotten that they bought Qwest.


So, congratulations to IFN!


Now the announcement was short on details for sure.  it would be interesting to know the size of the deal in dollars and how many dollars spread over how many years.  And the size of the deal in terms of what part of the network will the IFN platform will be powering.  Which part of the architecture.  


As was pointed out, Century is an amalgamation of several other smaller companies and each had their own network designs.  


So some more detail would be useful.


sailboat 

Chhilar
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Chhilar,
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12/5/2012 | 5:16:35 PM
re: Infinera Officially Lands CenturyLink


This is not the TIER 1 that the company keeps referring to in their CCs.  The TIER 1 they have been hinting about requires OSMINE and they did not announce that OSMINE certifcation was complete.


FROM the Q1 CC:


I also want to note that we have started the OSMINE certification process to satisfy a North American Tier 1 associated with one of the purchase orders I mentioned already. As a point of clarification, by Tier 1, I mean a traditional large incumbent carrier, typically with in-region and out-of-region regulated and unregulated business. This definition does not include cable operators, Internet content providers or bandwidth wholesalers. We stated on our last call, we are expecting to begin shipping DTN-X in volume to customers this quarter and we expect revenue recognition in the second half of 2012. As we signaled on our February conference call, we are seeing some existing customers queue to DTN-X for new footprint. 

Chhilar
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Chhilar,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:16:35 PM
re: Infinera Officially Lands CenturyLink


RE:Now a VZ, or ATT, or even a Qwest or Sprint


Qwest was purchased by CenturyLink in 2010.  So this CenturyLink/Qwest combined would be a bigger deal than Qwest alone...

tojofay
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tojofay,
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12/5/2012 | 5:16:35 PM
re: Infinera Officially Lands CenturyLink


Sailboat hits a rock: http://www.denverpost.com/brea...

Pete Baldwin
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Pete Baldwin,
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12/5/2012 | 5:16:34 PM
re: Infinera Officially Lands CenturyLink


In Sailboat's defense, the joke "Does CenturyLink [or Qwest] count as a Tier 1" still gets used -- I think it appeared on the message board for a previous Infinera story -- and is still pretty funny. 


But yeah, they've amassed quite a lot. Might be time to find someone else to make fun of.

paolo.franzoi
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paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:16:34 PM
re: Infinera Officially Lands CenturyLink


Let's just enumerate it all - CenturyLink contains the following (please add what I am missing):


1 - CenturyTel


2 - Embarq (fSprint LTD, fUnitedTel)


3 - Qwest (which includes the fUS West)


4 - Saavis


My take was that after Verizon got done dumping the rest of its copper plant that from a Wireline standpoint Century would be bigger than Verizon.  From a Wireless and Business services standpoint Verizon would still be dramatically bigger.


seven


 

Chhilar
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Chhilar,
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12/5/2012 | 5:16:33 PM
re: Infinera Officially Lands CenturyLink


Do you consider CenturyLink to be a  a traditional large incumbent carrier?  That was the language used by Fallon.

paolo.franzoi
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paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:16:33 PM
re: Infinera Officially Lands CenturyLink


"As a point of clarification, by Tier 1, I mean a traditional large incumbent carrier, typically with in-region and out-of-region regulated and unregulated business."


 


Bolding and underlying with the original post.  Century fits that model with all of its business.  In region would be Sprint LTD, US West and original CenturyTel.  Qwest proper and Saavis would be the out of region businesses.


Just FYI, TIRKS is really simple and used extensively by all the old RBOCs.  The other OSMINE stuff really is obsolete unless US West still uses TEMS or some other horrible nightmare of an NMS.  AT&T and Verizon develop their own OSS software (AT&T in conjunction with its domain vendors).


seven


 

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