Record Spending on Cloud Operator Optical Networks Drives Growth in 2018

Cignal AI Report Shows Ciena Extending Market Leadership among Cloud operators

BOSTON (April 16, 2019) – Cloud operator spending on optical hardware grew almost 50 percent year-over-year to reach well over over $1 billion in 2018, according to the most recent (4Q18) Optical Customer Markets Report from research firm Cignal AI.

“Cloud network operators such as Google and Microsoft were the only customers in the optical market to exhibit significant spending growth last year” said Scott Wilkinson, Optical Hardware Lead Analyst for Cignal AI. “While still the largest segment overall, incumbent spending on optical hardware was down last year, particularly in North America.”

OPtical Hardware Spending Trends by Customer Market

The Cignal AI Optical Customer Markets Report is issued quarterly and quantifies optical equipment sales to five key customer markets: incumbent, cloud and colo, wholesale, cable MSO, and enterprise and government. Findings from the current report – including market size, forecasts by regions and optical hardware vendor market share – will be examined via a webinar on Tuesday, April 23 at 11 a.m. EDT, which is open to all report clients.

Key findings in 4Q18 Optical Customer Markets Report:

  • Cloud operators remain the fastest-growing segment – North American cloud operators spent nearly as much on optical hardware as incumbents such as AT&T and Verizon in Q4.  New builds drove growth in EMEA, making cloud and colo the fastest-growing worldwide customer segment in 2018.
  • Ciena extends market lead among cloud operators –Ciena supplied over a third of the global market and doubled its lead over its nearest competitor. Others in the top five include Cisco, Huawei, Nokia and Infinera.
  • Incumbent spending growth will remain in low single digits through 2023 – While incumbents still purchase most optical hardware, their spending is static when compared with new network operators. Updated forecasts indicate a decline ahead in North American incumbent spending.
  • Cable/MSO and Wholesale Operators Decelerate Spending – Spending growth by cable/MSO operators was weak and market consolidation resulted in slowing wholesale optical network deployments.

The 4Q18 Optical Customer Market Report includes current quarter and full year 2018 optical sales for all tracked vertical markets. The report also includes optical equipment vendor market share for sales to cloud and colo operators, as well as updated customer market forecasts through 2023.

About the Optical Customer Markets Report

The Cignal AI Optical Customer Markets Report tracks optical equipment spending by end customer market type. It provides forecasts based on expected spending trends by regional basis. The report includes revenue-based market size for all end customer markets across all regions, with market share for sales to the cloud and colo segment broken out on a worldwide basis.

Vendors examined include Adtran, ADVA, Ciena, Cisco, Cyan, ECI, Ekinops, Fiberhome, Fujitsu Networks, Huawei, Infinera, Juniper Networks, Mitsubishi Electric, MRV, NEC, Nokia, Padtec, TE Conn, Tejas Networks, Transmode, Xtera and ZTE.

Quarterly report deliverables include an Excel file with complete data set, PowerPoint summary of highlights and Cignal AI Active Insight market event news briefs. Full report details, as well as free articles and presentations, are available on the Cignal AI website.

About Cignal AI

Cignal AI provides active and insightful market research for the networking component and equipment market and the market’s end customers. Our work blends expertise from a variety of disciplines to create a uniquely informed perspective on the evolution of networking communications.

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