Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) now has a new gold star for its report card, as a new Infonetics survey found it to be the top optical vendor of 2012. In the “2012 Optical Equipment Vendor Leadership: Global Service Provider Survey,” Infonetics (News - Alert) interviewed the decision makers for mobile operators across several regions, and found that several companies were doing quite well for themselves, but Alcatel-Lucent tops the list.
In the survey, Infonetics looked into how familiar the service providers are with optical equipment vendors, as well as the criteria used for selecting their vendors of choice and how they rank each in regards to technology, pricing, reliability, and so on. Alcatel-Lucent received the best marks overall, especially in regards to its management, technology, reliability, and service/support.
Alcatel-Lucent had some tough competition from Ciena, which was ranked at the top nearly as much in regards to 40G/100G+ coherent technology and OTN switching. They also tied for optical control plane technology. In the end, though Ciena (the previous survey’s highest overall ranking company) was dethroned. Also of note is Huawei’s (News - Alert) promotion to first place among vendors being evaluated for future optical purchases.
According to Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst for optical at Infonetics Research (News - Alert): "As much as equipment vendors talk about the importance of vendor financial stability, when we talk to optical buyers at network operators around the world, price and total cost of ownership (TCO) come up as the factors they care most about overall."
Despite challenges on other fronts, Alcatel-Lucent has been doing well in the optical area. In fact, it reached a record for shipments for its GPON ports in a recent quarter. This is due to a rapid expansion of GPON ports in the US and China, but Alcatel-Lucent has been showing strong sales growth in other countries as well including a recent win in South Korea, as SK Broadband has deployed its 100G Optical Coherent Technology.
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Edited by Peter Bernstein