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Light Research Launches

Fifteen months ago, Stephen Saunders and Peter Heywood jointly wrote a column called On Your Wavelength which marked the launch of Light Reading. As Saunders and Heywood said at the time -- February 1, 2000 -- their goal was to make this Website the place to go for any information on optical networking.

Today’s launch of Light Research extends this goal into the field of market research. This new site provides a one-stop shop for readers wanting easy access to the best statistics and analytical insights of optical networking trends. It also provides ways of learning about basic optical networking technologies, as well as exchanging news and views with other members of Light Research's online audience.

Saunders and Heywood took readers on a guided tour of Light Reading on their first column, using examples to explain what they were trying to do. So I’m going to take the same approach here, and present a section-by-section tour of the latest addition to our site:

Market Analysis These items summarize the latest reports coming out of market research consultancies. They incorporate key findings in the form of charts. They also include Light Reading's own take on whether the findings stand up to scrutiny. For instance, European DWDM Sales Triple points to major differences between high and low channel-count DWDM markets -- differences that are glossed over by RHK Inc. in its report.

All of these items are archived in a way that brings a wide selection of market research reports under the same roof. No more scurrying about trying to find who's got the latest and greatest statistics on X. Light Research will have summaries of all the best reports in the same place, for free.

Clavenna’s Corner This is where I’ll be holding forth, with regular columns covering the latest trends in optical networking and other tidbits from my discussions with vendors, telecom operators, and the financial community.

Beginners’ Guides A whole library of not-too silly tutorials on the basics of optical networking technologies.

Reports In-depth surveys of hot optical networking topics. The first one, 40-Gig Forecast, published today, covers the next leap forward in transmission technology -- a development that promises to separate the winners from the losers among component and system vendors.

Research Poll This is a regular poll of readers on a topical issue. This month’s poll is on the extent to which Ethernet will displace Sonet in metro networks.

Free Internet Research A collection of links to online papers on everything from the supply and demand of colocation space around the world to a cost-benefit study of rolling out fiber in a Canadian city.

Research Chat Your opportunity to join message boards focused on market research issues.

At no time in this industry's history has market research been more important. The last couple years of fantastic growth made everyone look good, but this is the year of the shakeout, and vendors and carriers alike need the most accurate information possible to remain strategically focused and successful. It's also an important year to talk about trends, identify what's hot and what's not, and discuss the implications of next-generation equipment.

The optical networks market is arguably in a phase between expansion and transformation, a period I like to call "optimization." In this phase, we have moved beyond simply adding capacity to accommodate explosive data traffic. That model didn't scale cost-effectively, and carriers could quickly find they'd spent themselves into Chapter 11.

This year, creating value in networks is key, which means spending money on equipment that decreases network operations cost while laying a groundwork for new service revenue. In this phase, information and analysis is critical, as each dollar spent comes under close scrutiny.

That's what Light Research will be about: information, analysis, and scrutiny.

— Scott Clavenna, Director of Research, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com
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