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Ciena Win Rekindles Long-Haul Hopes

Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) plans to announce this morning that it has expanded its deployment of CoreDirector switches inside Teléfonos de México (Telmex), the carrier it first announced core switch sales with back in 2002 (see Ciena's Optical Switch Fiesta).

The deal points to a general pickup in long-haul transport applications, according to Rob Adams, the company's VP of core transport product line management and product marketing. He says Ciena is seeing a greater number of long-haul RFPs, mostly from carriers outside the U.S.

"We are seeing a number of different applications, including everything from wireless backhaul to triple-play applications," he explains. There is also a greater amount of potential business in the traditional applications such as "backhauling DSLAMs and Internet telephony."

That Ciena's current customers are buying again is a good sign. It was only a few months ago that the vendor was stung by delays in CoreDirector deployments -- delays so significant that Ciena missed its quarterly revenue goals (see Ciena Warns of Revenue Miss). Ciena says the deal with Telmex is also significant because of the use of the CoreDirector's new(ish) Gigabit Ethernet Line Module to provide point-to-point or point-to-multipoint data services (see Ciena Drums Up Data Strategy and Ciena Previews Data Enchancements).

Ciena, however, couldn't be more specific about the applications enabled by the Ethernet module. Likewise, the vendor was forbidden to talk about the size of the deployment and the revenues it could expect as a result of the additional business.

What we do know is why carriers, in theory, would want native Ethernet interfaces on a CoreDirector. A carrier such as Telmex could aggregate data traffic from add/drop multiplexers (ADMs) and multiservice provisioning platforms (MSPPs) via the CoreDirector, which would save them from having to install edge routers with Ethernet interfaces that would sit alongside the switch and handle data traffic. That's Ciena's company line, anyway. It's also not clear that Ciena really won the additional Telmex business away from any other vendor. According to Ciena spokespeople, Telmex never issued an official request for proposal (RFP) for its needs, so Ciena stood a better chance by being an incumbent supplier. — Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

andybryant 12/5/2012 | 3:27:24 AM
re: Ciena Win Rekindles Long-Haul Hopes Hmm.

I don't understand why anyone would want to use GE interfaces for aggregation on a core SDH crossconnect. I'd have thought it would be much more economic to do ethernet aggregation on edge routers...

Unless I've missed something.

A.
douggreen 12/5/2012 | 3:27:23 AM
re: Ciena Win Rekindles Long-Haul Hopes "I don't understand why anyone would want to use GE interfaces for aggregation on a core SDH crossconnet."

I think that Phil is not using the term "Edge Router" in the normal sense (aggregating a lot of sub-megabit traffic into high speed interfaces. He is speaking of a router that takes gigabit traffic and converts it into SONET/SDH so it can be handled by the switch and transport system (conversion versus aggregation).

I don't know of any ADMs that don't provide this function already (more efficiently). Many (if not most)large Ethernet switches provide OC-N interfaces as well. You would have to run an individual business case to see if it is cheaper to convert on the CoreDirector or externally.

It does allow you to connect cheaper Ethernet devices that don't support EOS or POS interfaces. Most of these devices are not considered "carrier grade."
DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 3:27:21 AM
re: Ciena Win Rekindles Long-Haul Hopes Righto, Doug.

Sorry if that bit was confusing. I was giving Ciena a bit of leeway in trying to describe what's possible without the advantage of knowing what's actually being done in the Telmex network.

ph
glasstotheass 12/5/2012 | 3:27:17 AM
re: Ciena Win Rekindles Long-Haul Hopes To back up Doug:

Has anyone priced a POS interface on a Juniper or Cisco router recently? Ben Dover! These are often 8-10x the cost of the equivalent Ethernet bandwidth.

The logic seems to be: I, Crisco, want to sell more core routers. My wet dream is to replace the entire carrier class (no quotes) SONET core (made up of CoreDirector-like boxes running VCAT+LCAS over circuits) with my "carrier class" (note the quotes) million-dollar-line card routers. I don't want to encourage a circuit core, so why should I sell POS linecards for less than the core router cost would be?

To their credit, CIENA (more likely their customers) have realized this and are removing this lever from the Criscos of the world.

Cheers,

..


douggreen said:
I don't know of any ADMs that don't provide this function already (more efficiently). Many (if not most)large Ethernet switches provide OC-N interfaces as well. You would have to run an individual business case to see if it is cheaper to convert on the CoreDirector or externally.

It does allow you to connect cheaper Ethernet devices that don't support EOS or POS interfaces. Most of these devices are not considered "carrier grade."
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