Mintera Nabs Nokia Siemens

Mintera Corp. had hoped to speed past rival StrataLight by advancing to a tranceiver-based 40-Gbit/s product rather than full systems. Now the company is saying it's taken what used to be StrataLight's biggest customer.

The blow to StrataLight is softened now that the company is owned by Opnext Inc. (Nasdaq: OPXT). Still, Mintera seems to have won Round 1 by getting its 40-Gbit/s linecards into the hiT 7300 long-haul DWDM system from Nokia Networks . (See NSN Deploys Mintera.)

Mintera announced yesterday that its MI 4000XM Adaptive-DPSK module, which applies differential phase-shift keying (DPSK) to produce 40-Gbit/s signals, is being used in the 7300. (See Opnext Steps Up With StrataLight.)

Analyst Paul Bonenfant of Morgan Keegan & Company Inc. had uncovered the relationship in March, at the OFC/NFOEC show. NSN at the time acknowledged that the hiT 7300 was using a 40-Gbit/s circuit pack that didn't come from Opnext/StrataLight, but officials didn't mention any use of Mintera, instead describing the circuit pack as homemade. (See OFC/NFOEC 2009 Roundup.)

It seems Mintera was in there, though. NSN announced in March that Columbus Networks, a U.S. wholesale provider, was using the new 40-Gbit/s circuit pack, and yesterday's Mintera announcement points to that win as its first deployment with NSN.

NSN had been using StrataLight's transponder systems alongside its DWDM equipment, supplying that combination to AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), among others. The AT&T deal won't run out of steam right away, because a migration to Mintera would be slow even after that vendor got qualified into the network, Bonenfant notes.

Still, it's likely to be the "first in a series of 40G MSA [multisource agreement] design wins to be announced by Mintera," Bonenfant writes in a note issued this morning.

Mintera, with help from investor JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU), began shipping 40-Gbit/s transponder cards in January 2008, before StrataLight did. At the time, Mintera mentioned having "several" customers including one in Europe. (See Mintera Challenges StrataLight in 40G Fight, Mintera Adds Cash, Partner, Mintera Ships 40G Module, and Who Makes What: 40- & 100-Gbit/s Systems.)

Opnext has since come out with its own 40-Gbit/s transceiver modules. (See Opnext Adds 40Gig Products.)

NSN represented 83 percent of StrataLight's revenues as of June 2008, and 25 percent of StrataLight and Opnext's combined revenues as of December 2008, Bonenfant writes. More recent data isn't so precise, as Opnext has stopped reporting specifics about its large customers.

Opnext officials weren't available for a detailed interview, but Ed Cornejo, vice president of product marketing, forwarded Light Reading an email that Mintera's announcement is "not new news to us" and that Opnext is "confident that we will maintain our leadership position in DPSK module and line card deployment."

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Stevery 12/5/2012 | 3:53:47 PM
re: Mintera Nabs Nokia Siemens

alcabash:  There are many reasons and tactics for a strategic investment.

As one example:  Since JDSU now owns a piece, they know the Mintera cash burn and breakeven point.  If Mintera is burning more than earning, then they will meltdown at some point in the future. So JDSU will be able to buy it much cheaper by waiting (because how many acquirers are out there?)


alcabash 12/5/2012 | 3:53:47 PM
re: Mintera Nabs Nokia Siemens

something does not add up. This is a big win for Mintera. You would think that, by now, Jdsu would have acquired the company as Jdsu does not have a 40G solution. 

Is Mintera asking for too much money

Does Jdsu care about 40G ?

I dont get it, I assume that's why the strategic investment was made in the first plcae. Save on internal r&d $ and wait for validation of Mintera's technology. Cannot get much better than NSN...

alcabash 12/5/2012 | 3:53:46 PM
re: Mintera Nabs Nokia Siemens

Jdsu abandoing communications ? I dont think so. Have not checked their numbers recently but it must still be about 40% of the business, rest being Acterna and OCLI. Agree that the margins are bad but you dont walk away from half of your company and your core identity...

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:53:46 PM
re: Mintera Nabs Nokia Siemens


I was under the impression that JDSU was abandoning the telecom space for new parts as they see the low margin business is not good for them.




zbulut 12/5/2012 | 3:53:45 PM
re: Mintera Nabs Nokia Siemens

I'd like to clarify what probably is already obvious to the readers familiar with this technology. The Nokia Siemens Networks' 10G, 40G and 100G transponders are designed to support multiple sources (MSA - Multi-Source Agreement) on both client and line side. Any 10G, 40G or 100G standard compliant MSA module can be seamlessly integrated as it becomes available.


Stevery 12/5/2012 | 3:53:44 PM
re: Mintera Nabs Nokia Siemens

Why would NSN give such an endorsement to Mintera if their intention was to use multiple sources ?

It's basic supply management.  They want make their other sources know of the competition.

For some reason, it's considered higher-class than issueing a press release saying "We'd like lower prices from every supplier not named Mintera", despite being nearly equivalent.

alcabash 12/5/2012 | 3:53:44 PM
re: Mintera Nabs Nokia Siemens

Why would NSN give such an endorsement to Mintera if their intention was to use multiple sources ?

boozon 12/5/2012 | 3:53:43 PM
re: Mintera Nabs Nokia Siemens

Makes sense. It could also be a way to squeeze Mintera a bit more in exchange of some publicity.

As Stevery said it, it all comes down to supply management, whatever the angle you look at it.

olsen 12/5/2012 | 3:53:36 PM
re: Mintera Nabs Nokia Siemens

Did Mintera stay with Bookham for the tunables, or did they change to JDSU after the JDSU investment? Just wondering ...

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