After a few sluggish years, sales of optical network hardware in North America surged during the fourth quarter of 2019 and ended the year in the black, according to Cignal AI. The market showed more than 25 growth during the quarter, enabling a total increase for the year of 10 , the market research firm states in its most recent Transport Hardware Report.
The good quarterly news extended to the North American packet market for access and aggregation switching devices as well, says Cignal AI. The roll out of 5G and other access technologies drove the strong quarter. The same cannot be said for edge and core switching and routing, which declined “dramatically” during the quarter, in Cignal AI’s words.
“After three years of North American spending declines as operators focused capex on wireless and access, optical hardware sales for the region revived and grew at a healthy pace for 2019, while packet hardware sales remained flat,” summed up Scott Wilkinson, lead analyst at Cignal AI. “Market leaders Ciena, Infinera, and Cisco all achieved optical sales growth of more than 25 in 2019.”
Looking elsewhere, Japan proved a hot market in both the fourth quarter and during 2019 overall. Optical hardware sales jumped 25 in the fourth quarter and almost 40 for the year. Conversely, transport equipment sales in China slipped slightly in 4Q19, as optical hardware sales growth slowed single-digit levels and packet sales declined. When adjusted for ZTE’s shutdown in 2Q18 (see “U.S. Commerce Dept. finds ZTE violated export disciplinary agreement, bans U.S. component supply”), optical hardware sales in China grew less than 10 in 2019.
Spending on long-haul optical systems set a record in 2019, despite a slowing of growth in the fourth quarter. The sector grew more than 10 during the year, Cignal AI states.
Cignal AI’s quarterly Transport Hardware Report provides market share data and forecasts for optical and packet transport hardware used in service provider networks worldwide. The report examines revenue for metro WDM, long-haul WDM and submarine (SLTE) optical equipment, and access, aggregation, edge, and core packet equipment in six global regions. Subscribers also gain access to the interactive Transport Hardware Superdashboard, which provides up-to-date market data and real-time visibility on the hardware market, including individual vendors’ results as they are released. They also can access an Excel database as well as PDF and PowerPoint summaries, and Active Insight, Cignal AI’s real-time news service on current market events.