Ciena: We're 'Well Placed' for Verizon Metro 100G

Ciena believes that its long-time customer Verizon is close to announcing contracts for metro 100G deployment, and that Ciena is "well placed" to win a piece of the project, the vendor's CEO said during Ciena's quarterly earnings call Thursday.

Verizon Friday morning declined a request from Light Reading to discuss its metro 100G plans, but speculation among analysts and within the vendor community has it that the carrier has decided on suppliers and will make an announcement within a month or two.

Financial analysts speculated in January that Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) had the edge to win a dual-supplier 100G project from Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ). Coriant , Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and others also have been mentioned as contenders. (See Ciena, Cisco Tipped for Verizon Metro 100G .)

On the earnings call Thursday, Ciena CEO Gary Smith answered a general question from an analyst about current metro RFPs by saying, according to the Seeking Alpha earnings call transcript, "I think the [RFP] you are referring to is the Verizon opportunity that's been publicly talked about... Should Ciena secure that and by the way we think we are very well placed for that, there is a very good fit,” because of the existing relationship between Verizon and Ciena.

Smith added that Ciena believes the supplier decisions already have been made and will be “announced shortly." He also suggested that AT&T and several other carriers are advancing on their own metro 100G deployment projects.

Want to know more about metro 100G developments? Check out our dedicated 100G content channel right here on Light Reading.

Ciena disclosed earlier on the earnings call that it had been chosen by Windstream for metro 100G deployment. While the vendor claimed it is making progress broadening its customer base to include more non-telco customers, it still gets a healthy percentage of its revenue from telco customers, most notably AT&T and Verizon, to the extent that those two telcos accounted for 26% of Ciena's revenue in its fiscal fourth quarter of 2014. (See Ciena Revenue Disappoints, Metro Promise Remains and Ciena Upbeat Despite Q4 Loss.)

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

DOShea 3/10/2015 | 10:45:06 AM
Re: No surprise Just fyi, checking this out with Windstream, and hopefully will have an update forthcoming.
Captain_Packets 3/9/2015 | 8:14:06 AM
Re: No surprise Dan — I didn't listen to the Ciena earnings call, but you mentioned they talked about a 100G metro deal with Windstream...was there an actual announcement about it, or just mentioned on the call? I thought Cyan announced a 100G metro win with Windstream at the end of 2014? I'm not sure if Windstream typically pursues dual sourcing in the metro, but seems important to understand the dynamics given that they accounted for roughly 50% of Cyan's Q4 revenue (per CYNI earnings last month)...  
danielcawrey 3/8/2015 | 1:20:55 PM
Re: No surprise Metro is always going to be this huge elephant in the room. The issue of second and third tier cities not getting the rollouts they deserve are simply a lesson in economics – that's just the reality.

The fact that companies like Ciena are making sure that they are positioned for things like Verizon 100G shows how well they plan these things. 
DOShea 3/6/2015 | 3:07:25 PM
No surprise I know it does not came as a surprise that Ciena would say it's well positioned to win a contract from a long-standing customer, but this is the first time, to my knowledge, that Ciena has publicly, directly addressed the speculation about Verizon's metro 100G contract, as well as the timing of a possible announcement. Wondering if we will see that announcement just before, during or right after OFC in a couple weeks...
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