Worldwide optical network hardware revenue, including WDM and SONET/SDH, was essentially flat in 4Q13, totaling $3.1 billion, according to a new Optical Network Hardware report from Infonetics Research.
- For the full year 2013, the overall optical network hardware market is down 3%
- On a positive note, the WDM segment posted a 6th consecutive quarter of growth in 4Q13 and ended the full year 2013 up 11% as 100G deployments hit the ground
- Though the traditional 4Q capex flush was in full effect in EMEA, the region recorded a 5th straight year of spending declines; Infonetics expects EMEA to revert back to being a third of global spending within 1-2 years
- The Chinese optical market closed 2013 up only 6%, but performance is anticipated to improve in 2014 as 100G rollouts pick up steam
- EMEA optical heavyweights Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Coriant, and Huawei all had a big 4Q13.
"Optical spending flattened in the fourth quarter of 2013, though it wasn't distributed evenly around the world or by vendor. Weakness was concentrated in North America, but a year-end capex surge in EMEA evened things up," notes Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst for optical at Infonetics Research.
Schmitt adds: "All indications are that an all-clear from Verizon and AT&T is forthcoming and the Q4 drop was a pause rather than a reversal - and this is in line with our forecasts."