Spending on optical gear grew 8 percent globally in 4Q11, compared with 3Q11, according to a new study from Infonetics Research.

"Regional spending trends for optical network hardware were volatile in the final quarter of 2011, with North America down and the rest of the regions up sequentially, including a huge 63-percent gain in Latin America — a region showing very positive long-term trends," notes Andrew Schmitt, directing analyst/Optical.??

He continues, "While the typical end-of-year budget flush failed to materialize in North America with AT&T and Verizon spending less, it did appear in full effect in EMEA, particularly Europe, up almost 11 percent. But the surge in Europe was due mainly to a surge in legacy SDH spending rather than of new WDM gear. Rising legacy spending is a negative leading indicator, as is the reversal in EMEA’s rolling four-quarter revenue, which turned negative in 4Q11 after only two quarters of gains."

Here are other snippets from the report:

>> The global optical network equipment market, including WDM and SONET/SDH equipment, grew from $3.4 billion to $3.6 billion.
>> For full-year 2011, the overall optical network hardware market is up 9 percent.
>> In 2011, WDM optical spending grew 22 percent, while SONET/SDH spending shrank 6 percent as carriers continued to abandon investments in legacy technology in favor of ROADMs, coherent optics, packet-optical transport and optical transport network (OTN) equipment.?
>> ROADM spending is on a 7-quarter streak of consecutive gains, with shipments up 36 percent in 2011 when compared with the previous year.
>> In 4Q11, the largest optical vendors benefited most — with the exception of Cisco — including Huawei (up 35 percent), Alcatel-Lucent (up 20 percent) and Ciena (up 10 percent).?
>> Both Ciena and Infinera bucked the North America downtrend with positive quarterly optical revenue.?

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