BLOG

ADTRAN Must Return to Original Strategy

September, 2015

Over the last three decades, there has not been a more respected telecommunications equipment vendor than ADTRAN. Historically, its success was mainly predicated on taking a step or two backward to find opportunities with mature technology in order to build better “mousetraps,” with innovative architectural designs, which allowed for plenty of room to go down the cost curve, and removed a lot of unneeded bells and whistles that were not required by many of its customers. Nevertheless, starting around the middle of 2009, ADTRAN’s management evidently began the gradual process of transitioning from a humble “supplier of networking and communications products,” which was able to avoid a lot of competitive threats because the bigger manufacturers had always moved on to the next big thing, to a riskier, “leading provider of next-generation networking solutions,” directly...

Read More

Calix’s CEO Still at Top of His Game

February, 2016

Over the last 15 years or so, a lot of great executive talent has left the telecom/datacom optical space either because they made a killing during the bubble, it became time for them to retire, or perhaps they had the good sense to get out of an industry in which it can be extremely difficult to make money. One notable exception is the CEO of Calix, Carl Russo, who rather quietly has continued to use his exceptional skills in a fairly successful way to execute on a very focused business strategy in the space. While like any leader, he has his share of imperfections, Calix has been a company that reflects the best characteristics of the man himself, a solid identification with integrity and credibility, often sorely lacking in our business. When Cisco Systems bought Cerent at an incredibly high...

Read More

SDN Crack-Up?

February, 2016

About a half of a decade after the announcement of the establishment of the Open Networking Foundation, a recent survey of over 3,000 customers internationally by F5 Networks, indicated that just 3 percent of respondents are utilizing SDNs (Software Defined Networks) in production now, while almost 40% have no intentions whatsoever to go ahead with their deployment (37% of the replies suggested that “SDN will become strategically important” within a two to five-year window). Our skepticism over SDN, especially in the public network is well-documented, and

Read More

Google’s Fiber: Laugh All the Way to Bank

March, 2016

The contest by Alphabet’s Google itself among the cities in 2010 was a brilliant stroke of genius in that it cost the company practically nothing, but it led to municipalities (munis) starting to contemplate building their own networks, which would potentially provoke established service providers to respond with their own enhanced broadband offerings. To the extent that the search engine powerhouse has just threatened to invade a particular territory with fiber, oftentimes existing competitors were quickly countering with at least their own announcements of network upgrades, new construction, lower pricing, etc. While Google has made a certain amount of investment in the deployment of fiber just to keep up the pretense, as we wrote in late 2014, its vested interest is in encouraging broadband build-outs...

Read More

EU Split Could Help Optical Space

June, 2016

Despite all of the unnecessary commotion and unjustified delirium of panic resulting from the Brexit referendum, we hope that it will lead to the dismantlement of the entire European Union, which we assert could bolster the economies of individual nations in general as well as the fiber optic businesses in each of the individual countries specifically. The EU resulted in just another layer of extraterritorial, bureaucratic rules and regulations on the continent, which has impeded market growth levels since its formation in 1993. However, unless Britain (and any other member states that decide to leave) take the necessary second step of a comprehensive abandonment of socialism within their own boundaries, which would be even more difficult to accomplish, investments will continue to be hampered. The situation in the UK itself requires true deregulation of the telecom space. Of...

Read More