Light Reading

Tellabs Sees Progress With 6400

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
11/26/2002
50%
50%

Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA) today acknowledged that it has at least one RBOC trialing its 6400 metro transport switch.

The fact that an incumbent is kicking the tires is good news for Tellabs' optical networking business. Since Tellabs' last earnings call, industry observers have speculated which seven unnamed carriers bought Tellabs 6400 switch last quarter. The company's only announced customer to date is Broadwing Inc. (NYSE: BRW).

The attention around the 6400 switch is merited because the platform is seen as a transition between the large electrical crossconnects of Tellabs' past and the smaller, sleeker optical networking gear of its future.

The 6400's success is also pertinent now that Tellabs is experiencing a pronounced slowdown in its overall business, which would appear even worse had it not been for a recent uptick in 6400 sales. The company has restructured five times since April 2001 and recently reported its first pro forma quarterly loss since 1991. Not only are overall sales declining, but the percentage of its sales from optical networking gear -- a segment that includes the 6400 -- is also slipping.

In the third quarter, Tellabs reported revenues of $288.1 million, with about $115 million, or 39 percent, coming from optical gear (see Tellabs CEO Sees 'Tough Sledding'). During the second quarter, Tellabs' revenues were $345 million with $162 million, or 46 percent, of its revenues coming from optical gear.

However, sales of the two newest optical networking products -- the 6400 and 6500 switches -- accounted for 9 percent of Tellabs' total second-quarter 2002 revenues. So even as the overall picture gets bleak, the company appears to be increasingly betting its future on selling the gear it acquired from Ocular Networks to big carriers.

Tellabs has said the key market for its 6400 is the smaller metro points of presence controlled by big incumbents. The seven new revenue-generating customers for the 6400 are "a mix of local exchange carriers, multiple systems operators, or the cable companies, as well as competitive local exchange carriers," the company says. This makes the news of RBOC trials all the more interesting.

Having just completed the Osmine certification process, it was expected that Tellabs would pick up its activity around RBOC sales.

Some startups weren't biting on the news, however. Upstart competitor Polaris Networks points out that it has already announced an RBOC trial, so it would almost be embarrassing if Tellabs didn't follow suit (see Polaris Lifts Off).

"By now I would have expected them to have several customers, given how long they've been in the market," says Sab Gosal, director of product marketing at Polaris.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
www.lightreading.com Movers and shakers from more than 100 companies – including Tellabs – will be speaking at Lightspeed Europe. Check it out at Lightspeed Europe 02.

(25)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
Elvis Doesn't Live
50%
50%
Elvis Doesn't Live,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:17:03 PM
re: Tellabs Sees Progress With 6400
Hmmm, who would I place my bets on? A supplier with RBOC customers or some start-up who thinks that press releases and analysts quotes are the keys to success. Face it Saab, no RBOC will buy your product. You lack scale, operations experience, financial resources and a track record of working with big companies. Tellabs might not be sexy but they are doing a lot better than most other companies.

You guys are sooooooooo early 2001.
ThouShaltNotJudge
50%
50%
ThouShaltNotJudge,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:17:00 PM
re: Tellabs Sees Progress With 6400
No doubt. PN's burn rate must skyrocketing from bribe payments to anyone willing to clear a few square feet of unused lab space (and LR for their politically paid innuendo).
gea
50%
50%
gea,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:16:49 PM
re: Tellabs Sees Progress With 6400
Nah...you guys are kinda off base.

First of all, remember that Ocular itself was a startup until last year.

Second, if there's a startup that can actually deliver in this area, its Polaris. Aside from the hardware, they have the protocol knowledge to get up-and-running in Management much faster than any startup (and this is absolutely KEY towards getting into RBOC networks). In addition, that protocol knowledge will be readily leveragable into GMPLS. Of course, Ocular hums the GMPLS tune, but Polaris has been sining it loud and clear since day one.

Nah...WAY too early to write off Polaris.
grapsfan
50%
50%
grapsfan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:16:48 PM
re: Tellabs Sees Progress With 6400
gea wrote:

> Nah...you guys are kinda off base.

Well, let's see....

> First of all, remember that Ocular itself was a startup until last year.

Very true. But now, they've got the leverage of a big company who has been successfully supporting RBOCs for years. Will any RBOC, or any big carrier, trust a company with 90 employees to provide on-site training, 24x7 support, adequate sparing & manufacturing, etc.? Hard to say. Polaris seem to be making inroads with AT&T, but competition for that customer is tight with Tellabs, and perhaps the former AstralPoint box as well.


> Second, if there's a startup that can actually
> deliver in this area, its Polaris. Aside from
> the hardware, they have the protocol knowledge
> to get up-and-running in Management much faster
> than any startup (and this is absolutely KEY
> towards getting into RBOC networks). In
> addition, that protocol knowledge will be
> readily leveragable into GMPLS. Of course,
> Ocular hums the GMPLS tune, but Polaris has been
> sining it loud and clear since day one.


OK, now you've officially lost me. For the RBOC market, they care about Telcordia for management for cross-connects...and that's it. What "key management" are you talking about, gea? And if you think that the RBOCs are ready for GMPLS, ASTN, or any control-plane stuff, you're off. There may be CLECs, or even an IXC or two, who think they're ready. It'll take the RBOCs years and years to get their operations people the knowledge and procedures to change from the current paradigm. And the whole regulatory environment will have to change before a single device carries TDM & data on the same NE in an RBOC network. That too, could be years away.


> Nah...WAY too early to write off Polaris.

I agree that a company who is still active in spending marketing and R&D $$$ is un-write-off-able (or whatever), but I'm not sure you've got the right reasons behind your statement.
straight shooter
50%
50%
straight shooter,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:16:47 PM
re: Tellabs Sees Progress With 6400
In the "gea" vs "grapsfan" grudge match, grapsfan wins by a knockout.

gea seems to be comparing Polaris to other start ups. And Polaris is admittedly above average in this area, but gea reveals his lack of carrier background in the protocols statement. Protocols don't equal management in an RBOC book. Can you say TL1?

BTW, I'm not an Ocular fan either. Jury is still out on both these intitiatives. Given Tellabs legacy product, Ciena, Alcatel, Marconi, Siemens, ECI/Lightscape, etc. does the world need really need yet another STS1 crossconnect?
Glass2Glass
50%
50%
Glass2Glass,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:16:45 PM
re: Tellabs Sees Progress With 6400
In message #5, "straight shooter" said:

> Given Tellabs legacy product, Ciena, Alcatel,
> Marconi, Siemens, ECI/Lightscape, etc. does the
> world need really need yet another STS1
> crossconnect?

I doubt that the world needs another STS1 cross-connect, bur the Ocular product (the Tellabs 6400) is a VT1.5 (or DS1, if you prefer) cross-connect.

Glass
b_on_optics
50%
50%
b_on_optics,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:16:44 PM
re: Tellabs Sees Progress With 6400
Gea,

You seem very knowledgeable about the Tellabs product line (no wonder, since you worked there!)

I have a question regarding the Tellabs 7100 Metro DWDM product. It seems to be the red-headed stepchild in Tellabs. All the Tellabs marketing materials talk in great detail about the 6400 and 6500, but the 7100 is given nary a mention.

What is your opinion of the 7100 product? How does it stack up against CIENA ONLINE, Nortel 5200, and other Metro DWDM boxes? What are its key differentiators? Is Tellabs serious about the Metro DWDM space? I heard that the 7100 is actually a repurposed 6100 (project that was canned a couple of years ago). I also heard that Tellabs shut down their upstate NY facility (where all optics development used to take place) and moved this project to Montreal, where the folks are not necessarily optical gurus.

Any comments would be very welcome.

Curious
Bullish_On_Optics


luingolden
50%
50%
luingolden,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:16:44 PM
re: Tellabs Sees Progress With 6400
Given the major hurdles that any new product must clear to enter the market, I think that RIGHT NOW is the right time for new players (like Polaris) to get involved in promoting their capabilities.

The recent serious declines across the sector has eliminated most of the me-too wannabees. There are opportunities for new market players in this environment if they can write, and then deliver, a compelling story.

Polaris must be a serious contender if they have already implemented a SONET-compatible bandwidth transport schema (i.e., VT1.5) and achieved testing at an RBOC.

The "good-old-boys network" within the customer sector isn't as strong as it was a few months ago when many of the "old-boys" lost their jobs... Today we're in more of a perform or die model than in recent history.

SONET-compatible optical switching is the logical next step for carriers. The downside that remains is the continuing incapacity of many carriers to automate their equipment and bandwidth capacity inventories. Without this companion process automation, the carriers will fail to achieve the full promise offered by optical networks.
gea
50%
50%
gea,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:16:44 PM
re: Tellabs Sees Progress With 6400
Grapsfan:
Good, intelligent rebuttal. Let me reply...

>Will any RBOC, or any big carrier, trust a >company with 90 employees to provide on-site >training, 24x7 support, adequate sparing & >manufacturing, etc.? Hard to say. Polaris seem >to be making inroads with AT&T, but competition

Well, I didn't necessarily want to say they'd make it totally alone. If their box ends up being half as good as they were planning back in August of 2000 or so, then there could end up being significant interest, perhaps enough to push foward an Ocular-like arrangement (well, not with Tellabs, of course--a former employer of mine BTW).



>OK, now you've officially lost me. For the RBOC >market, they care about Telcordia for management >for cross-connects...and that's it. What "key >management" are you talking about, gea?

Did 5 years at telcordia, so I can answer this farily well, methinks!

The term "management" is a tricky one to un-entangle. First of all, Telcordia NMS systems such as TIRKS, NMA, TEMS, and so on sit "northbound" as compared to the EMS management systems of big cross connects, SONET NEs and other such gear. If your Gateway NE does not support a ZILLION little protocols, the Telcordia NMSs will do...nada. THIS is one of the major barriers for startups, and its rarely stated outside the deepest/darkest areas of the industry. (Let me give you an example: the Tellabs 7100 Metro-DWDM supports dual stacks..OSI & TCP/IP, and you can boot up IS-IS or OSPF...in an "all-optical" product. Almost no startup can handle something like that.)

All I was trying to say is that Polaris is a very unusual startup in that it has the protocol expertise necessary to get a long way into the big networks.




>And if you think that the RBOCs are ready for >GMPLS, ASTN, or any control-plane stuff, you're >off. ....It'll take the RBOCs years and years to >get their operations people the knowledge and >procedures to change from the current paradigm. >And the whole regulatory environment will have >to change before a single device carries TDM & >data on the same NE in an RBOC network. That >too, could be years away.

Well, I'd normal agree with statements like this in the context of the RBOCs. OPPS really run most of the RBOC networks, and they have to due to sheer size. But in the particular case of GMPLS I disagree. GMPLS does not require any "data" traffic at all to be extremely useful. It will first of all simply be an automated way to provision cross-conections throughout a network. And I don't see that being very different from what is done in a NOC today: with GMPLS, they'll click on the termination nodes, select the bandwidth pipe size, and then boom! All of the intermediary DCSs will auto-configure. Depending on the network and what's done with GMPLS, the change operationally could be very minimal, while HUGELY reducing provisioning costs. (Indeed, rumor has it QOptics is already trialing their GMPLS software in a couple of RBOCs.)


>> Nah...WAY too early to write off Polaris.

>I agree that a company who is still active in >spending marketing and R&D $$$ is un-write-off->able (or whatever), but I'm not sure you've got >the right reasons behind your statement.

Well, I'm not saying its a "slam dunk" by any means. This is a tough environment for ANY vendor. But if you had to place bets on a startup, Polaris is one to watch.

gea
50%
50%
gea,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:16:43 PM
re: Tellabs Sees Progress With 6400
Yikes! You are asking some very sensitive questions!

That which is publically known, first of all, is that the development group in Hawthorne NY (originally part of IBM) was indeed shut down back in April, along with the manufacturing facility in Ronkonkoma NY, as well another related facility in Burlington Mass. That which remains of the 7100 is done in Illinois.

As for the 7100, it had some major strengths that I have not seen in other products. The Hawthorne group, as it turns out, did a really great job in the archuitecture. (I'll give you some examples: 1) Like other DWDM systems, the transponders can handle OC-3/12/48 and GbE. Unlike anything else, however, they can put out AIS at all three SONET rates, and empty GbE framing. 2) The optical layer cn be configured into practically anything, due to the fact that it's got a zillion cards, and some unique optical-layer architectural features. 3) They 7100 platform supports auto-power balancing. A nice little trick.

As for how Tellabs views the 7100, it shouldn't be too big a suprise that they don't see a lot of future in Metro DWDM, for now. So there are lots of design bugs they probably won't bother to iron out unless things improve. Overall, it was a system with some geat and unique design features, but right now I don't think they're taking it too seriously as a money-maker.

And no, it's not a redesign/repackaging of the 6100 or anything else...the 7100 group came from IBM and operated pretty independently of the rest of Tellabs.
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The Swedish vendor has undergone a significant transformation during the past few years, adjusting to the demands of next-generation communications companies.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Du Puts Its Faith in Huawei's Routers

4|9|15   |   3:42   |   (0) comments


Adnan Masood, director of Enterprise MS Solutions Marketing at du, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) operator also known as Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, explains why his company chose to use Huawei's multifunctional AR routers as part of its managed enterprise services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Gets Active in the Data Center

4|9|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


With enterprise users looking to maximize the use of their data center assets, Huawei’s Chief Architect & Technical Director of IT Data Center Solutions, Bruce Su, explains how the company's six-layer active-active data center solution is eradicating the need to deploy passive, redundant data center assets.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Blue Consult & Huawei for a Better Solution

4|8|15   |   4:01   |   (0) comments


Martin Rott, CEO, and Marc Metzler, head of sales virtualization, from Germany's Blue Consult discuss their collaboration with Huawei and TrendMicro to develop a secure, scalable IT platform that can meet the needs of the most demanding enterprise users.
Upcoming Live Events
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network Instruments, a JDSU division, shares results from its 2015 State of the Network, a global survey on security.
Hot Topics
Verizon Scores New OTT Content Deals
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/16/2015
What if the Comcast Merger Fails?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/20/2015
Nokia & Alcatel-Lucent: What's Going On?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/15/2015
Huawei P8 Launch: Cue Applause!
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/16/2015
LPWA: A Threat to 'Wait & See' IoT Operators?
Steve Bell, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading, 4/16/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Cats with Phones
Stig's Big Decision Click Here
Stig's big decision for the day was to decide which item would be more fun to chew: the smartphone or the Rubik's Cube.
Latest Comment