Optical networking sales hit six-year high

The global optical networking market reached a new post-2001 high of €2.88 billion/US$4.4 billion in 4Q07, up 30% year-over-year, according to research firm Ovum RHK.

Preliminary results show the market reached €9.82 billion/US$15 billion in 2007, more than €196.4 million/US$300 million over its most optimistic forecast.

Ovum's VP, Optical Networking, Dana Cooperson said Alcatel-Lucent sales reached €0.655 billion/US$1 billion for the quarter for the first time, for any vendor.

He said the market was being driven by a combination of vendor consolidation, the growth in spending across all next generation product segments and fresh undersea systems.

He said the final 2007 figures awaited the release of ZTE's numbers in late March.

Spending on next-gen multi-service SDH/SONET gear rose to a new post-bubble high of nearly €1.24 billion/US$1.9 billion for the quarter, propelled by huge sequential spending increases in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, versus a new high of €0.589 billion/US$0.9 billion for metro DWDM, Ovum RHK said.

'Contrary to popular myth that has Ethernet delivering a swift and decisive death blow to SDH/SONET, a range of applications will continue to exist for SONET/SDH-based devices in evolving networks, particularly as the products themselves evolve to allow more efficient switching, aggregation, and transport of data-based traffic,' said Cooperson.

Spending in Europe and the Middle East topped all other regions at just over €0.98 billion/US$1.5 billion for the quarter and €3.27 billion/US$5 billion for the year.

Asia-Pac sales were up at least 10% for the year, despite continued slow sales in Japan.

Ovum-RHK said Alcatel-Lucent grew at least 20% in every region, while Huawei 'outstripped all expectations' to post nearly €524 million/US$800 million in revenues. Nokia Siemens was up 28% sequentially and 44% year over year for nearly €589 million/US$900 million in sales in 2007.