The company is apparently just waiting for a customer to announce with the product, according to Perrin, who met with NEC at OFC/NFOEC last week and published a research note Friday. He's guessing the company would announce in 2012, based on operators' 100Gbit/s plans.
Why this matters
NEC is no slouch in optical networking and would be a serious competitor not only in Japan, but in North America. According to Perrin, NEC is gunning for a North American comeback, specifically targeting AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ). Don't forget that NEC was a top DWDM supplier to AT&T back during the bubble.
The company's technology chops are admirable, too. Perrin pointed out that NEC had a flurry of post-deadline OFC/NFOEC papers, including an experiment with Verizon that put 112Gbit/s, 450Gbit/s, and 1.15Tbit/s transmissions all on one 3,560km fiber span. Another paper was about cramming 101.7 Tbit/s -- that's terabits per second -- down one fiber, the kind of hero experiment you'd expect to see on the OFC/NFOEC highlight reel.
NEC hasn't lost ties with AT&T, either. A 2009 experiment on 100Gbit/s transmission involved AT&T, NEC and Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW).
Further reading on NEC's background, plus a few 100Gbit/s items from OFC/NFOEC 2011:
- AT&T Teams to Test 114Gig
- AT&T to Deploy NEC DWDM System (from 2000)
- OFC/NFOEC 2011: Bandwidth Goes Flexible, Too
- 100G Decision Time Looms
- ADVA in for the Long Haul With 100G
- Infinera Talks More Terabit
- Nokia Siemens Demos 400G Upgrade
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading