Ovum today announced its preliminary 4Q08 and full-year 2008 results for global optical equipment networking vendors. The global optical networking (ON) market topped $4 billion for the fourth time in five quarters, increasing 4 percent sequentially, but was down 5 percent versus 4Q07. Spending for the full year was up 9 percent over 2007 to $16.3 billion.

Of the top 10 optical networking vendors, only Huawei and Ericsson posted positive 4Q08 results both sequentially and vs. the year-ago quarter. Ericsson noted particular benefit from mobile backhaul and mixed wireless-wireline builds. Huawei repeated its 4Q07 performance in 4Q08, posting sequential and year-over-year gains of 38 percent and 14 percent, respectively, in part due to pent-up 3G mobile-related spending in China.

The Asia-Pacific market was particularly resilient in the quarter and the year. Spending in the region overall was up by about 20 percent in 4Q08, both sequentially and vs. 4Q07, mirroring 2008’s 20 percent growth over 2007. The EMEA and South and Central America (SCA) regions grew 8 percent and 12 percent, respectively, during 2008.

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