Cisco Ships OC192

Cisco announces its 10-Gbit/s products, along with some general optical hoopla UPDATED 1/31/01 5pm EST

January 31, 2001

3 Min Read
Cisco Ships OC192

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) announced a series of new products in its IP+Optical group Wednesday, including a 10-Gbit/s (OC192) interface for its routers and the ONS 15327 Sonet multiplexer (see Cisco Unveils IP+Optical Strategy and Cisco Soups Up Routers).

In addition, Cisco announced that its customers for its new routing products include Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON) and 360networks Inc. (Nasdaq: TSIX; Toronto: TSX.TO). AT&T (NYSE: T) is a trial customer.

The product announcements come at a crucial time for Cisco. The delivery of the high-speed OC192 cards for Cisco's line of routers has been eagerly anticipated. Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR), Cisco's chief competitor in the router market, has been shipping the 10-Gbit/s interfaces for some time. Avici Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AVCI; Frankfurt: BVC7), a router startup that recently went public, announced support for OC192 several weeks ago (see Avici Intros OC192 Line Card).

As of today, Cisco’s OC192 lineup includes its 12410 router, a 3.5-foot tall systems with a 10-slot chassis and a 200-Gbit/s switch fabric; and its 12416 router, a 7-foot, 16-slot chassis with a 320-Gbit/s switch fabric. Cisco also introduced two new line cards for upgrading existing systems and said that both the 12410 and 12416 can use any existing 12000 series line card ever made, thus protecting its customers’ previous investments.

What hasn’t changed, though, is that the market leader got beaten to market in this product category. “They're a couple quarters late [with OC192] but it's a psychological barrier that they needed to cross," says Seth Spalding, an analyst with Epoch Partners. Spalding says the news may give Cisco a short-term boost in confidence, but it doesn't change the long-term competitive picture with Juniper.

"Not a lot of the market has gone to OC192, so it's not too late to catch up," says Spalding. "But the real reason Cisco is losing market share to Juniper is port density, not the interface speed. It's not going to change the near-term revenue picture."

In a conversation with Light Reading Wednesday afternoon, Cisco executives declined to give details on what impact the new routers will have on its business, either financially or in terms of market share. “I can only tell you that our customers are excited about it, there’s a lot of demand for it, and that we think it’s going to be a very successful product,” says Robert Redford, senior director of marketing for Cisco’s Internet POP Systems Business Unit.

The ONS 15327 launch had been previously reported by Light Reading (see Cisco Hatches Cerent 'Mini Me'). It will ship next week and was announced here exactly one day after Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK) announced a directly competitive product, the SmartEdge 100 (see Redback's Got a Mini-Me, Too).

Cisco’s officials say the ONS 15327 will help service providers offer high-bandwidth data services, such as virtual private networks and virtual LANs, in “a matter of between 15 and 20 minutes,” according to Sanjay Pol, Cisco’s director of optical transport product marketing.

As Cisco’s ONS 15454 product boasts 22,000 systems to over 500 customers worldwide and a revenue run rate of more than $1 billion, it sees similar results coming for the 15327. “We expect this product to be just as successful as the 15454,” Pol says.

-- R. Scott Raynovich, executive editor, and Phil Harvey, senior editor, Light Reading

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