11 June 2020

Ciena at Critical Inflection Point, According to New Report by fibeReality, LLC

fibeReality, LLC

Mark Lutkowitz



McLean, VA--fibeReality, LLC announces that the world’s leading optical system vendor in the world, Ciena, is facing a huge challenge in the restructuring of a hefty portion of its business in a study just published.

Ciena’s Clash with Cannibalization at Webscale Operators says the supplier’s initial, near-term obstacle right now seems to be in adequately responding to the optics demands of the hyperscale data center operators, such as Google and Microsoft, for a 400-gigabit ZR (400ZR) coherent pluggable module -- the total world market for this component, fibeReality projects to grow to $175 million in 2023.

“While Ciena’s international competitive position for high-performance, monolithic systems has never been better in its history, as its major competitors, including Huawei Technologies, Nokia Networks, and Infinera are currently struggling, those large cloud providers will be increasingly deploying such capabilities into very small form factors like the 400ZR, which can be quickly commoditized.” said Mark Lutkowitz, Principal at fibeReality. “The key question for Ciena is to what degree it is willing to continue down the same path with the upcoming 400ZR+, which will grow much larger in sales than the 400ZR, as well as later with higher data rates, such as 800ZR.”

The report contends that a legitimate, longer-term option for Ciena is to pull back from the webscale operators to maintain its gross margins at current levels.

fibeReality also asserts that much of the revenue loss could be recovered with further penetration into incumbent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the globe, potentially facilitated by one or more acquisitions of smaller players.

A major conclusion of the report is that a change in the top leadership might be required in order to execute on a such a monumental change in its corporate strategy.

The 30-page publication cost $500 and can be purchased at https://www.fibereality.com/store.

fibeReality, LLC is an independent research and consulting firm specializing in optical equipment and services including in telecommunications, datacom, consumer, automobile, AR/VR, and other markets.

About OIDA

OSA Industry Development Associates (OIDA), operated as a division of The Optical Society (OSA), serves and represents organizations engaged in the business of optics and photonics—from start-ups to Fortune 500s. In support of its member companies, OIDA promotes and protects the business of optics and photonics in driving innovation, creating jobs, and accelerating growth in the U.S. and around the world. OIDA provides exclusive roadmap reports and market data for the industry, serves as the voice of the industry to government and academia, acts as a liaison with several trade associations worldwide and provides a network for the exchange of ideas and information within the optics and photonics community.

About Optica

Optica (formerly OSA) is dedicated to promoting the generation, application, archiving and dissemination of knowledge in optics and photonics worldwide. Founded in 1916, it is the leading organization for scientists, engineers, business professionals, students and others interested in the science of light. Optica’s renowned publications, meetings, online resources and in-person activities fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate scientific, technical and educational achievement.

Media Contact

Mark Lutkowitz