Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading - 10/25/2013
It's been talked about for some time, but current chatter amongst the optical networking community suggests that Infinera is set to become the second 100G transport supplier at Verizon Communications, joining incumbent supplier Ciena.
Word has been circulating for a few weeks now that Infinera is "the chosen one" ahead of Alcatel-Lucent and the speculation has been stoked even further by Infinera management's reference during the company's third-quarter earnings conference call to anticipated "strategic" customer deals in North America.
MKM Partners analyst Mike Genovese noted in his report on Infinera's third-quarter results that there appears to have been "recent positive competitive changes at one or more major US strategic accounts where management seems to have increased confidence in their likelihood of winning significant deals."
Infinera says it doesn't comment on rumor or speculation. But for some in the industry, the vendor's name is all but on that deal.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
One thing I wonder: How does a telecom company handle having two sources of optical transport equipment where one source's equipment is based on the traditional architecture and the other's is based on new-generation architecture? It's not like you can plug in Ciena and Infinera modules interchangeably.
Using a very old example:
Muxing J-1 and T-1 was not particularly difficult on paper.
If you need to integrate different architectures you would either pinch off channels or match with a LCF through a programmable switching option.
The solution is old but admittedly no straightforward.
The post about heterogeneous vendors carries much weight.
Depends somewhat on the type of equipment you're talking about. Metro equipment is often done geographically. Deploy one vendor in the east, one in the west ... For long haul dwdm, it's typically parallel, independent networks. One vendor gets a few fibers and the other vendor gets a few. Sometimes they shoot for complete diversity in their long haul networks so that they can bid on contracts that require extreme high reliability.
Unrelated but since everyone is speculating on who will win the L3 and Verizon builds I'll put in my guess. I think they win Level 3. Level 3 is all about cost so they can win that one if they're willing to go low enough. I think they learned their lesson (Jagdeep thought he had Level 3 over a barrel and he didn't put in a competitive bid) on the last loss to Huawei and they will do whatever is necessary to win this one. They will lose Verizon because they don't have 16 QAM. The high volume routes on the east coast can really benefit from the greater fiber capacity available with this modulation format. ALU has it. BTW the architecture is defined by the RFP. The architecture that ALU is offering won't be any different than Infinera, Ciena, etc from an architectural perspective.
Well, they had better win it. It would be bizarre for the foremost telecom service provider in the US to choose a new vendor which is a dying company with old technology, although no doubt they would hardly have to pay anything for their equipment if they buy it from Alcatel.