Optical network spending falls in third quarter: Infonetics Research

Operator spending on optical network equipment has fallen over the July-September period, despite an increase in spending on WDM equipment, according to a new study from Infonetics Research.

“In the third quarter of 2013, sales of WDM optical equipment are up 4% from a year ago and remain at elevated levels reached earlier in the year, but overall optical spending is down on a quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year basis,” said Andrew Schmitt, a principal analyst at Infonetics.

“Looking ahead, we expect Tier 1 carriers to dial back spending,” added Schmitt. “Capex was so strong in the first and second quarters of 2013, it’s unreasonable to anticipate a big flush in the fourth quarter, especially in North America.”

Citing general weakness in the current market environment, Infonetics notes that spending in the optical network hardware market is down 7% compared with the second quarter of 2013, and 1% compared with the third quarter of 2012.

The bright spot is the WDM sector, which notched up its fifth consecutive quarter of growth for the third quarter of 2013.

Geographically, North America seems to be holding up relatively well, having seen a 13.4% year-on-year increase in optical spending in the third quarter, following an 11.4% increase in the second.

That was driven, says Infonetics, by aggressive 100G deployments by Tier 1 players.

In the EMEA region, by contrast, WDM spending declined on both a year-on-year and sequential basis in the third quarter, while Japan was responsible for dragging down the Asia-Pacific optical market.

The report also indicates that Huawei (Shenzhen, China), Ciena (Hanover, MD, USA) and Alcatel-Lucent (Paris, France) were the WDM market share leaders in the third quarter.