Infinera Talks Metro, 40-Gig

Surprise! Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) is shipping metro gear.

After more than a year of dodging and strong-arming questions about the metro ("Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"), Infinera slipped a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 8-K form under the door this morning to tell the world it's got a metro box.

Infinera's claim to fame until now, the DTN, is a long-haul DWDM box. Since last summer, executives have acknowledged that they want to expand into the metro market. (See Infinera Surprises, Targets Metro Access, Metro Move for Infinera?, Infinera Numbers, and Infinera's Metro Expansion.)

Infinera started shipping the metro product in August, the filing says. The company plans to show off the box at Supercomm next month.

The filing also says Infinera expects to have its 40-Gbit/s photonic integrated circuit (PIC) in-house by the end of the year. That's a less long-awaited development, but it could be more important. Infinera's lack of a 40 Gbit/s appears to be the reason why Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT), Infinera's earliest supporter, defected to Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. for a recent optical deal. (See Is Huawei in at Level 3? and Infinera's Smoking Gun.)

The new PIC can carry 10 lanes of 40-Gbit/s traffic; Infinera's current PICs do 10 lanes of 10-Gbit/s traffic.

Finally, the filing says Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) is an Infinera customer, adding another big-name carrier to the company's roster. Telefonica is using the DTN for submarine as well as terrestrial links.

Submarine contracts tend to arrive in clumps separated by very long intervals, so Infinera is making a push to get its share while the business is out there. (See Infinera Goes Underwater.) As for why Infinera is suddenly blabbing all this, the 8-K simply notes that it's what the company will be saying "at meetings with investors this week."

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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