Fourth quarter 2015 optical network system sales end year on positive note

Sales of optical network systems in the fourth quarter of 2015 reached $3.5 billion, up 17% over the previous quarter and 10% from the fourth quarter of 2014, reports IHS. The strong quarter was enough to push sales for the full year to $12.5 billion in 2015, 3% more than 2014’s total, the market research firm reveals in its Optical Network Hardware Market Tracker.

After a subdued 3Q15, this quarter’s results represent a much-needed boost to the optical hardware market, with revenues demonstrating the fastest-growing fourth quarter for five years. Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent, in particular, performed well in the quarter, both gaining significantly in share compared to 3Q15,” said Alex Green, senior research director for IT and networking at IHS.

WDM platforms provided the foundation for the strong quarter. Such systems accounted for all but $0.4 billion of the money spent on optical network systems in 4Q15, IHS says. Revenues from WDM gear were up 18% versus the year-ago quarter.

Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent (now part of Nokia) rode their strong year-end performance to Top 3 positions for the year-end market share rankings, IHS reports. Huawei earned first position on the leaderboard, with Alcatel-Lucent/Nokia at three. Ciena was the second-leading vendor, while ZTE at four and Infinera at five rounded out the Top 5 vendor list.

Looking regionally, North American sales bounced back from a flat third quarter, achieving 5% rolling four-quarter growth. However, the Europe/Middle East/Africa region, after a promising start to 2015 (see “European optical network spending finally showing a pulse says IHS“), continued its second-half slump to record a decline of 3% in rolling four-quarter growth, the market research firm says.

The IHS quarterly optical network hardware report offers information on worldwide and regional market size, and vendor market share. It also offers forecasts through 2020 as well as analysis and trends for metro and long-haul WDM and SONET/SDH equipment, Ethernet optical ports, SONET/SDH/PoS ports, and WDM ports.