Alcatel leads the way

RHK has released new estimates of the global optical transport market at its annual European conference in Paris, France.

RHK has released new estimates of the global transport market at its annual STARTRAX2002 European conference in Paris, France.

RHK estimates the 2001 market at $28.2 billion, down from $33 billion in 2000. Alcatel led the market in 2001, with a 16% share, followed by Lucent at 12% and Nortel at 11%.

RHK defines the optical transport market to include all major categories of equipment used in optical fibre networks: SONET/SDH, MSP, OED, traditional and superband DCS, WDM, OADM, and OCS equipment.

Although the North American and undersea optical transport segments were hit hard this past year, RHK foresees growth of at least 15% in the Asia-Pacific and the MEA (Middle East and African) regions. The European market size is expected to remain the same in 2002. Globally, RHK says, it will be the incumbent PTTs and Bell companies that continue to dominate spending through 2002.

The turbulence in the global market has resulted in a changing picture of market shares. RHK reports that, despite a severe downturn in undersea systems sales, Alcatel became the globe’s dominant vendor, up from its number two position in 2000. This was a result of its well-balanced exposure of terrestrial products across the globe, with significant sales on all continents, and its broad customer mix (incumbent PTTs, pan-European carriers, CLECs). In 2000, Nortel held the number one position; its dropping sales in North America pushed it from first to third position.

Lucent assumed the number two position in 2001 with a 12% share in the global optical transport market. Helping Lucent was its successful introduction of its LambdaRouter and strong deployment of its Bandwidth Manager. In fourth place is Fujitsu, holding onto a 10% share. Ciena’s CoreDirector (a widely-used optical core switch) and WDM products helped the company increase its share from 3% to 6%, moving into fifth place. The remaining top vendors include NEC, Marconi, Siemens, Tyco, Tellabs, Huawei, and Cisco.

The study reveals that the market with the strongest growth remains China where local vendors are going from strength to strength.

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