Infinera Goes Underwater
It's called the Submarine Line Module (SLM), and it got announced today, along with a customer: Global Crossing (Nasdaq: GLBC). (See Infinera Dives Into Submarine Market.) It could be an important move for Infinera, given that submarine business is on the rise at a time when optical networking is still languishing.
Infinera's past two earnings calls have included mentions of two submarine-networking wins, although Infinera didn't name customers. At the time, CEO Jagdeep Singh told investors the wins involved an ultra-long-haul adaptation of the company's DTN DWDM system.
A submarine network does require better performance than a land-based network, because a carrier can't just add amplifier huts in the middle of the ocean. To that end, Infinera equipped the SLMs with Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers (SOAs).
That Global Crossing is one of Infinera's first submarine customers is no big surprise; the carrier was an early Infinera believer, first deploying equipment in 2006. (See Global Crossing Picks Infinera.) Infinera says its gear is being used on Global Crossing's Mid-Atlantic Crossing and South American Crossing networks.
Submarine networking demand moves in notoriously slow cycles, but an "up" cycle appears to be in progress. Infinera's release quotes numbers from Ovum Ltd. saying that the overall optical networking industry is expected to decline 5.5 percent to $15.4 billion in 2009, while submarine network business should climb 23 percent to $1.06 billion.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading