Can Infinera nab Tier-1 with new launch

Dana Cooperson & Ron Kline/Ovum
21 Sep 2011

On September 15 Infinera, the number five backbone DWDM vendor globally, unveiled its long-awaited 500Gbps (five wavelengths of 100G) photonic integrated circuit (PIC) and new system platform, the DTN-X.

When the system becomes available in 1H12 it will offer the largest OTN switch and DWDM transmission capacity on the market. The integrated platform builds on Infinera’s significant differentiation in foundation component technology, which has driven the company since its founding in 2001 and which other vendors have found difficult to match.

The DTN-X platform focuses on solving the dilemma faced by carriers in continuing to scale their core network infrastructure for mobile and video services growth. It also gives Infinera an admission ticket to compete for tier-1 carrier opportunities.

Value proposition

Over 10 years, Infinera has grown from a start-up to a vertically integrated systems vendor with about $400 million in annual revenue. Infinera’s strongest customers to date have been carrier’s carriers such as Level 3, XO, and Interoute that have focused on wholesale markets. When the DTN-X and its 500G PIC are available next year, Infinera will finally have a product with appeal for the largest tier‑1 operators. The product will initially provide 5Tbps of integrated OTN switching and transport; future upgrades will push capacity to 10 and ultimately 100Tbps.

The product’s appeal extends beyond raw capacity. Infinera has a proven track record of building reliable products that are easy to install and maintain. Its large-scale photonic integration capability taps the Moore’s Law benefits of using silicon to provide significant reductions in space, power, and cost compared with more conventional approaches to optical system design. The DTN-X’s availability will coincide with a network core build cycle for which tier-1 carriers are seeking a more integrated, simpler, and more scalable foundation. The ultimate measure of success for the DTN-X will be delivering a win at a North American tier-1.

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