Siemens may be in the running to win a WDM contract, but it's probably not the whopper everyone is waiting for

June 12, 2003

2 Min Read
AT&T Smacks Siemens Rumor

Rumors are once more buzzing that AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) has finally awarded an equipment contract in its long-awaited long-haul network upgrade (see AT&T DWDM Hope Dwindles).

This time around, the buzz began at the Supercomm tradeshow and has it that Siemens Information and Communications Networks Inc. is in the running for AT&T's next wave of WDM purchases.

In the past, Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN), Corvis Corp. (Nasdaq: CORV), and Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) have all been the subject of similar rumors.

Sell-side researchers from Bear Stearns & Co. Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., and other banks have published notes about the chatter.

"Our channel checks suggest that Siemens has awarded AT&T a service contract, and in turn, AT&T has allowed Siemens into its evaluation lab in anticipation of eventual deployment," writes Merrill Lynch analyst Simon Leopold. "However, our checks indicate that this potential award is not the long-haul network upgrade we have discussed in the past."

AT&T spokesman Dave Johnson describes the situation as a "a rumor about Siemens that was started in Europe," and he says neither AT&T nor Siemens have made any announcements regarding long-haul WDM gear. Johnson did point out, however, that AT&T is a huge consumer of WDM gear, with 1,300 systems in place, and that its network is always evolving. "We will continue to deploy [WDM systems] more as customers demand it and as growth warrants it," he says.

How big is the rumored Siemens deal? "We believe Siemens’s opportunity could be in the low double-digit millions, while the larger network upgrade could be worth $50 million to $200 million," Leopold writes.

Alas, it looks as though, once again, the AT&T's monster WDM contract has been put off further into the future. "That's happened before, so why should now be any different?" Leopold asked Light Reading on Thursday, who responded by shrugging and mumbling something inaudible.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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