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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...

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AT&T/DirecTV: Epitome of Bellhead Ploy

November, 2015

While the industry narrative continues to push the illogical idea that AT&T is leading the pack internationally as a transformational player, the operator has seemed to be more concerned in remaining a copper service juggernaut. It appears to us that perhaps the most important, although not apparently stated reason for its acquisition of DirecTV, was to provide extra capacity for data transmission on its U-verse/DSL modems (to become more competitive with CATV providers) as the video services would now obviously be increasingly provided by satellite. One of the biggest ironies is that while incumbent providers have maintained their historical reluctance to move to new solutions offered by their equipment suppliers, they have no problem in overspending billions, if not tens of billions of...

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