Sonet: Who's Ahead in Metro?

It looks as if Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) may regret claiming ownership of the North American OC48 transport market.

Earlier this week, the vendor announced that figures from market research firm RHK Inc. show it to have "captured the number one position in the North American market for OC48 long-haul SONET transport."

Ironically, by claiming to be first in OC48 long haul, Cisco caused some confusion. By its own admission, the Cisco ONS 15454 is not truly a long-haul product, but instead is used to aggregate OC48 connections at the edge of the network and feed them to the core.

By touting its presence in the long-haul space, Cisco only called attention to its continuing lack of OC192 support there, since OC192 is the bigger and faster-growing segment in the long-haul market (see Sonet: Who's Ahead in Long Haul?).

Cisco also inadvertently focused all eyes on the overwhelming dominance of the OC192 market leader -- Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT)

Further, figures for the North American Metro Sonet market just released by RHK show that Cisco's running a distant fourth there with the ONS 15454:

North American Metro Sonet Market RHK's figures also indicate Cisco's far from first in OC48 in the metro space. Indeed, it is fourth there too. Fujitsu Ltd. (KLS: FUJI.KL) is by far the dominant player.

North American Sonet Metro OC48 Cisco's not present at all in metro OC192, RHK says -- although analysts believe that's not a drawback in the metro market. "OC48 will still dominate the metro market in 2004," says Brian Van Steen, WDM and optical networks analyst.

North American Sonet Metro OC192 -- Mary Jander, senior editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com

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netguy 12/4/2012 | 8:47:42 PM
re: Sonet: Who's Ahead in Metro? Cisco's cerent box has a nice niche in the metro space. People can debate the definition of long haul versus metro all day long. Bottom line - Cisco has some great optical technology. But to date, they have made VERY LITTLE penetration into the optical space over one day, one month, or one year, in spite of Monterey, Pirelli DWDM piece, etc.... That is UNDISPUTED. Cisco should keep the marketing machine running through the "Cities of Enterprise". In the "World of Optical Networks" they need to keep on buying.....
go_csco 12/4/2012 | 8:47:43 PM
re: Sonet: Who's Ahead in Metro? I was wondering if someone would chime in and point out that these market share findings were for 2000 sales and not related to an existing install base of legacy SONET gear.

Cisco positioning the ONS15454 in the metro market but achieving great success in long haul tells me it is a product of flexibility.

At the end of the day, I still loth these market share stats because it results in too much splitting of hairs...

drag 12/4/2012 | 8:47:48 PM
re: Sonet: Who's Ahead in Metro? Companies with "15454 like" products understand that surprise, surprise they can, for the most part, be used in both applications. This metro, long haul debate is bullshit. Where do you pigeonhole a box that aggregates the metro AND connects to long haul systems???

"In 2000, Cisco became the number one player in the OC-48 SONET equipment market," said Brian Van Steen, Analyst, Optical Networking, of RHK Inc

Obviously it would be stupid for Cisco/Sycamore etc. to claim total OC48 market leadership for all time whether it be for metro or long haul and if you know how to read it's obvious that the RHK numbers being pointed at were for 2000 only. Mary, why would Cisco regret having the number one OC48 product for 2000??? Would Sycamore, Chromatis etc. regret it too?? I doubt it.

Obviously any company would point to any report that says they are #1 for something. Sometimes they even invent new market segments just to claim #1 as well - but that's another story...

If you are Nortel, Lucent or Fuji obviously you want to see the total SONET metro market & the total OC48 metro market since the dawn of time because you sold a load of equipment into that space over that time.

As someone who is interested in these kinds of products from a "making business sense" perspective I don't think you have done any of the vendors in this space justice at all. Why do you think people like Lucent buy companies like Chromatis? Of course these companies marketing dept love segments "called OC48" metro because they can put all their old products and new ones into one segment and still claim a significant market share. Just like Nortel loves segments called "long haul OC192".

I know that people deploying this kind of "new SONET" equipment don't really care for marketshare numbers based on these broad segments. Especially for numbers that include products sold over 2-3 years ago - they just aren't relevant.


loejoe 12/4/2012 | 8:47:51 PM
re: Sonet: Who's Ahead in Metro? Come on Mary, what did Cisco do to piss you off? Perhaps you missed this Business Week article about Nortel reviving the "oldies":


.... Nortel relies heavily on sales of gear based on optical technologies that are rapidly approaching obsolescence. Last year, the market for older equipment accounted for 90% of Nortel's optical sales, according to Ken Leon, analyst with ABN Amro.
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