Light Reading
With 100G, terabit and ROADMs on the rise, it's a busy time for optical networking. Here's who we see making it all happen

Top Ten: Optical Networking Movers & Shakers

Craig Matsumoto
3/23/2012
50%
50%

5. Dave Welch, Infinera
It took a lot of years and a lot of money to get Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) past the novelty stage, but it's now a true contender in DWDM. The question is whether its next product, the DTN-X, can be as powerful as the first. If so, then Infinera stands to make a big difference in the 100Gbit/s generation, and Welch, who's been with the company from the beginning, would stand a chance to continue its influence into the 1Tbit/s era as well.

4. John D'Ambrosia, Dell
He technically works for Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL), but really, John D'Ambrosia is known as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) guru for higher-speed Ethernet -- with "higher speed" defined as "whatever comes next." Instrumental in recent product generations up to 100Gbit/s -- which is still a work in progress, he stresses -- D'Ambrosia is doing advance scouting for the 400Gbit/s or 1Tbit/s generation. Among his multiple IEEE commissions is a project to assess bandwidth demand and determine exactly what's needed for this next generation -- because, as he's been emphasizing, it's already past time to start working on it. Look for him to continue prodding the industry forward.

3. Hong Liu, Google
Bikash Koley, technical lead for network architecture and planning at Google, undoubtedly makes some big decisions and is the guy you see at conferences. He's the spokesman for the massive bandwidth requirements Google and other data-center owners are facing. But we're told that when you get down to the optical details, Liu is the person you need on your side. Components vendors are turning her way for guidance on how to craft the next generations of data-center parts.

2. Huawei
Sources couldn't decide on one person inside Huawei to nominate. We're told that if you get Huawei's interest, they don't send one guy to talk; they descend en masse, working like a hive mind, as one source described it.

Yet, Huawei's position in the market can't be ignored. It's joined the optical market-share leaders and has home-field advantage when dealing with Chinese carriers. Even without a celebrity point person, Huawei's optical work affects the industry, and it certainly affects competitors such as Alcalu, Ciena, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. .

1. Glenn Wellbrock, Verizon
Everybody in optical networking wants Glenn Wellbrock's ear. No carrier has evangelized the next-generation network harder than Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), and Wellbrock is the point man. (Stuart Elby has been a prominent name at Verizon, too, but his attention is more on things like software-defined networking these days.)

Not every carrier shares Verizon's point of view, but there's no question the carrier has shaped vendor roadmaps. It's Verizon, for instance, that's dictated much of today's direction in ROADMs. Verizon has been coming to conferences with big diagrams of the colorless, directionless, contentionless optical network, and a couple of years ago, it kick-started the discussion about flexible-grid ROADMs, too.

Verizon is out to distinguish itself in the context of driving the industry. The carrier wants to be an innovator, and it's pulling the optical equipment and components vendors behind it.

To close out the list, here's our OFC/NFOEC interview with Wellbrock:



(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
< Previous Page 3 / 3
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:38:26 PM
re: Top Ten: Optical Networking Movers & Shakers


Obviously the list is up for discussion. Who'd we leave off? Which picks do you especially like (or not)?


The one uncontested choice was Glenn Wellbrock. Pretty much everybody we contacted said he had to be on the list -- hence his ranking. He was a busy guy at OFC/NFOEC.

Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:38:25 PM
re: Top Ten: Optical Networking Movers & Shakers


Hey, I like your list -- thanks for contributing, Odo!


Yeah, we did cop out on Huawei, but in a thought-out way that we thought was amusing (and kind of appropriate).&nbsp; I don't think they can be left off of this list. In fact, if we were limited to one equipment vendor, I'd probably pick them. It's not like they're the Microsoft of this space, but they're on everybody's minds. They've got impact.


Google was sort of the opposite of a cop-out, I'd argue. If you don't like our pick, it's a consequence of our overthinking it. I'm certainly comfortable with it, but there's no doubt Bikash is a mover &amp; shaker in his own right.


The Engana guys ... ah, there was bound to be an area we didn't explore deeply enough, so I'll concede that we should have considered them. In terms of near-term influence, though ... now that everybody claims to have gridless capability, how much more impact is Engana likely to have? (It's inside Finisar, for those who don't know, so it does have market reach.)

rahat.hussain
50%
50%
rahat.hussain,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:38:25 PM
re: Top Ten: Optical Networking Movers & Shakers


nice choices overall ... extremely accomplished folks. but, as requested, some comments -


big thumbs up (or likes):


- wellbrock: clearly a mover and shaker, pushing the limits of technology, great articulation of the needs of the network.


- bowers: brilliant mind, wishing him good luck with his latest baby (aurrion)


- welch: proof is in the pudding, namely, a public company with deployed product based on his vision.


- diperna: absolutely one of the best leaders for pushing high bit-rates and more importantly coherent systems into the market.


&nbsp;


questionable:


- alwan: clearly an lr favorite and in spite of an acknowledged lack of optical expertise and relevance to 100G or ROADMs, he sneaks in. may as well set up a popularity award and give it to him. clear a spot for a real shaker in optical. (who, you ask? see next category).


&nbsp;


missing:


- frisken and poole: come on guys, you say roadms, you love wss' and no real proponent in this space. look no further (south) than our friends from engana. these are the pioneers of the flexible grid solutions. acknowledge it. now.


&nbsp;


cop-out:


- google: clearly bikash is the guy, but you want to include others? that's quite alright i guess.


- huawei: really? not being able to name individuals is a clear sign that the moving and shaking is being done by committee.


&nbsp;


unsure:


- cole, d'ambrosia (just don't know these guys or their accomplishments except being on standards committees).


- jain (just know idea who this guy is and why a backhaul guy is in this list, but what the heck, he is #10, and he gave lr an interview, so ok).


&nbsp;


so, my top x list would be -


1. koley, wellbrock (carriers)


2. diperna, welch (systems)


3. bowers, frisken-poole (technology/components)


4. cole, d'ambrosia (standards) - if you say these are the guys, so be it.


&nbsp;


ok, that's just nine people, but no point trying to find folks to fill the last slot. leave it at nine.


&nbsp;


odo - who has now stirred the pot, if nothing else!


&nbsp;


&nbsp;


&nbsp;

rhr
50%
50%
rhr,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:38:22 PM
re: Top Ten: Optical Networking Movers & Shakers
An excellent and thought-provoking list.-áThe idea of movers and shakers implies scale and importance and that is reflected here. But in an ideal world where everything and everyoneGÇÖs work and value are known, one or two great Japanese operators and companies should be here too. The same applies to some individuals in Europe, say at Duetsche Telekom or FT.

Also a thought for some unheralded players. They don't have the scale but have some deep thinkers - in South Korea or at some European vendors. The likes of mid-size companies like ADVA, Transmode and Ekinops, or the odd Israeli entrepreneur or firm. They may fail the scale test and as such only make an official top-50 list but perhaps the true value of their innovation is higher.
Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:37:59 PM
re: Top Ten: Optical Networking Movers & Shakers


Thanks rhr. Yes, I'll admit it's a North American-focused list -- reflecting the fact that we work out of North America and get the greatest amount of exposure to the folks who happen to be here.


Good point about the innovation in Japan. Companies and universities there are still very heavily represented in the OFC papers and post-deadlines. Maybe I should be more in touch with what's happening over there.


About the deep thinkers in the mid-sized companies... that's a very interesting idea. Maybe we could collect up a few of those names for a different kind of report someday.

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Documentaries
Paul Bunyan's Giant Gigabit Plans

12|22|14   |   03:26   |   (0) comments


Gary Johnson, the CEO and GM of Minnesota rural operator Paul Bunyan Communications, discusses the company's 5,000-square-mile gigabit network rollout.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
Google Steering Android Towards Cars – Report
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/19/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive