Cignal AI
Welcome to TRANSMIT, Cignal AI’s monthly newsletter keeping you up-to-date on important news and trends in the optical industry, our latest research, and noteworthy upcoming events.
Cignal AI Raises Forecasts for Asia Optical Hardware Market
Optical hardware sales throughout Asia surged in 3Q18, fueled by double digit increases in China and Japan, and a turnaround in India, according to the third quarter 2018 (3Q18) Optical Hardware Report from research firm Cignal AI. With strong momentum expected to continue, we raised our estimates for Asia.

North America, however, continued to decline for the eighth consecutive quarter, as weakness in the traditional operator market was not offset by strong sales to cloud and color operators.

“China bounced back more quickly than expected following the ZTE shutdown, and outside vendors Nokia and Ciena saw a triple-digit increase in Japan during the third quarter,” said Scott Wilkinson, lead analyst, Optical Hardware for Cignal AI. “RoAPAC contributed to the success in Asia as well. While we expected a slight slowdown this year there will likely be net increases for the year, driven largely by sales in India.”
Other findings in the 3Q18 Optical Hardware Report;
  • Ciena was the only vendor among the top 5 that grew revenue in North America, thanks to sales to cloud and colo operators.
  • EMEA saw double-digit growth during the quarter, and this momentum is anticipated to continue given traditional fourth-quarter spending increases.
  • An expected turnaround in CALA did not materialize, as spending in the region continued to decline.
Full report details, as well as articles and presentations, are available on the Cignal AI website.
Read the Full Press Release
3Q18 Optical Hardware Market Summaries & Tracker
During the past month, we have published summary reports about third quarter results and items of interest about vendors in the optical market: These summaries are available to optical hardware report clients, who also had real-time visibility into optical market results through our Optical Hardware Market Share Tracker. The Tracker is updated as vendors report results during the quarter and rapidly provides our clients with the most current market data. 

Want to learn more about the Tracker and becoming a client? Contact us.
Greater Optical Focus Seen at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo
The SCTE Cable-Tec Expo – the premiere technical trade show for North American Cable MSOs – is gaining traction with optical equipment companies as increasing demand for bandwidth in the MSOs is leading to greater demand for optical equipment.

Historically oriented towards software (encoding, menu providers), analog hardware, outside plant, and HFC-specific equipment, the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo last month in Atlanta saw traditional vendors like ADVA, Ciena, Fujitsu Network Communications and Infinera showcasing cable MSO-focused solutions, as well as optical component companies Finisar, Sumitomo, IPG Photonics and Qorvo exhibiting - many for the first time.

In an overview of the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, Scott Wilkinson, our lead analyst for Optical Hardware, outlined some of the major trends impacting driving growth in the optical MSO market, including:
  • Fiber deep
  • Native optics
  • 5G 
  • Virtualization
Clients can log in to view the Optical Active Insight report.
Cignal AI In The News
Cignal AI was featured in industry media and reports in the past two months. 
  • Raymond James – Raymond James published key takeaways from visits by Andrew Schmitt and Scott Wilkinson with investors in New York City on November 5. Our insights included the role compact modular systems will play in shaping operator spending, Chinese spending and technology trends, and the impact of ongoing industry consolidation.
  • Inphi 3Q18 Conference Call – During its 3Q18 conference call with investors, Inphi mentioned our ECOC 2018 presentation, which highlighted the growing opportunity for 400 ZR. 
  • Gazettabyte – Andrew Schmitt was quoted about the 4th generation of coherent's development in an article detailing how Ciena is staffing up an Optical Microsystems Division to begin selling its own coherent modules.
Interesting News
Tencent Trials ADVA FSP 3000 TeraFlex 600G Over its Open Line System OPC-4
Acacia AC1200 module in another customer trial with its premier partner ADVA. Tencent and other Chinese cloud and colo operators are free to choose from western hardware vendors.

II-VI to Acquire Finisar
A truly transformative acquisition, even more so than Lumentum + Oclaro. Together the two deals have consolidated the optical component business. AAOI, Neophotonics are probably next and IPG Photonics could play a role too. But the China merger approval blockade still looms large.

TE Connectivity Completes the Sale of its Subsea Business
They sold a $700 million revenue business for $325 million in cash to a private equity firm. Partnered with Ciena to provide terminal equipment for links, but the reality is these are all open line systems now.

Broadcom Samples Industry’s First 7nm 400G PAM-4 PHY   
This is the product to beat and is a clear threat to all other vendors. Broadcom has the cash to win the 7nm wars.

Comcast Executives on Lessons Learned from Deploying vCMTS
Some interesting notes and observations from initial virtualization deployments. While the virtual CMTS runs in the head-end for the cableco, all of the logs and telemetry are shipped off to AWS. Intel has been a key partner too.

Telia Carrier and Infinera Demonstrate First 600G Transmission in a Production Network
Infinera's ICE5 600G technology is the ICE4 InP PIC running at a higher baud rate. It was designed to be a lower risk path to production. It will be interesting to see how this fares vs. Acacia solutions that reach the market at about the same time.
Chip Stocks Extend Worst Rout in Decade as Slowdown Fears Mount
We're not hearing negative news about optical demand. The last data point was Ciena shooting out the lights for the quarter. But the $SOX collapse is not a good forward indicator for all hardware, including optical.

Ekinops - Preliminary Discussions with Nokia Corporation Regarding a Possible Acquisition of Alcatel Submarine Networks
A sale of ASN to someone has been in the works for a while, but it is hard to see how a company as small as Ekinops could make the numbers work.
Upcoming Events
January 21-25, 2019
Client Visits

March 4-7, 2019
San Diego, Calif.

Contact us to set up a meeting.
Optical Hardware
Analyzes market share and size for entire optical equipment market according to hardware-based features and capabilities. Includes 10/40/100G+ client and line port shipment numbers.

Optical Applications
Examines market share and size for portions of optical market addressing specific functions or customer applications, including compact modular and Packet-OTN switching equipment. Details market size and share for the 100G+ coherent and non-coherent market across multiple technologies and reaches.

Optical Customer Markets
Tracks the size of optical equipment market by six end customer types, including incumbents, cloud and colo, and wholesale. Includes vendor market share of the cloud and colo customer segment.

All Cignal AI clients also receive access to Active Insight reporting and analysis on notable events in the optical network market.

Contact us if you are interested in becoming a client
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