Optical network sales up 20%

Worldwide sales of optical networking equipment jumped 20% in the second quarter of 2006 to reach US$3.1 billion, according to research firm Infonetics.

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By  Eliot Beer Published  September 6, 2006

Worldwide sales of optical networking equipment jumped 20% in the second quarter of 2006 to reach US$3.1 billion, according to research firm Infonetics. The two big winners were Huawei and Alcatel, but a range of companies showed healthy increases to their figures. Metro Ethernet sales made up more than two thirds of optical sales; geographically North America took 35% of sales, while EMEA was on 33%. “Huawei is the big story this quarter, with sales up an amazing 83% and a larger foothold in the EMEA region,” said Michael Howard, principal analyst of Infonetics Research. “For the first time in optical network hardware market history, Alcatel is not in first place. Huawei jumped from fourth to first in one quarter, a rare feat. Next quarter may be a different story.” Sales of carrier-class Ethernet switches and routers also showed double-digit growth in quarter two, up 12% from the previous quarter to $837 million. Infonetics forecasts 113% growth for this market between 2005 and 2009. At the same time, overall sales of SP routers and switches grew only 6%, with segments such as ATM equipment sales down 24% year on year. Infonetics’ Howard puts this down to an increased focus by enterprises and service providers on preparing for future traffic increases. “The service provider multiservice ATM switch segment continues its downward trend, while the IP and Carrier Ethernet switch and router segments continue to climb,” he said. “Carriers are outfitting their data networks to handle the coming IPTV traffic, and outfitting their mobile networks for the expected onslaught of mobile video and data traffic. Carrier Ethernet-grade equipment meets these needs.”

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