Hype gets ahead of reality in the optical network market

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Optical systems companies have spent $37.8 billion in the last 18 months in acquisitions. So says the report by Aberdeen Group entitled, ‘Moving at Light Speed: The Transition to Optical Networks’, which examines the market dynamics, key players, and the evolution of the next-generation optically enabled network.

“Acquisitions will continue as large companies – such as Cisco, Lucent, and Nortel – seek to acquire key technologies rather than develop them in-house,” said report author Andrew McCormick. “Smaller companies will be acquired earlier and earlier in the development cycle, as larger players gamble on unproven but promising solutions.”

“Hype is ahead of reality by six to nine months in optical networking,” said McCormick. “At the beginning of this year, the industry was focused on the metropolitan access network suppliers, who expected to deliver products in 2000. But before those products have even been shipped, the spotlight has shifted to optical switching, and to the debate over all-optical versus optical-electrical-optical. Because suppliers must react to frequent market shifts and expectations, they seek acquisitions as a method to survive and update their product lines.”

The 42 optical systems suppliers profiled in the report are: Alcatel, Algety Telecom, Alidian Networks, Amber Networks, Appian Communications, Astral Point, BrightLink Networks, Calient Networks, Centerpoint Broadband Technologies, Cerent, Chromatis, Ciena Corp., Cisco Systems, Corvis, Cyras Systems, Dynarc, Eluminant, Fujitsu Network Communications, Hitachi Telecom USA, Inc., Ingnitus Communications, Kestrel Solutions, Lucent, Luminous Networks, LuxN, Marconi Communications, Monterey Networks, Nortel Networks, ONI Systems, Optical Solutions, Pirelli, Qeyton Systems, Qtera, Quantum Bridge, Redback Networks, Sirocco Systems, Sorrento Systems, Sycamore Networks, Tellium, Tenor Networks, Terawave Communications, Xros, and Zaffire Communications.

Founded in 1988, Aberdeen Group provides IT consulting and market strategy advice to the IT supplier community. Steeped in technology and armed with end-user field research, Aberdeen focuses on answering clients’ critical business and technology questions in the context of the Internet economy and across the product life cycle. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, the group has offices in Palo Alto, California, and Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Aberdeen Group

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