GPON drove wireline access growth in Q4 2012, says Dell'Oro

GPON equipment sales for Fiber to the Home networks were an anomaly in Q4 2012, one that was arguably a weak quarter for last mile wireline access gear.

Despite a 3 percent combined revenue decline in both access infrastructure and customer premises equipment (CPE), GPON segment revenue grew 10 percent sequentially and 28 percent over Q4 2011.

"It was a strong year in 2012 for equipment enabling higher bandwidth Internet service including GPON, VDSL, and DOCSIS 3.0 cable CPE, but the fourth quarter was weak for most access segments," said Steve Nozik, principal analyst of access research at Dell'Oro. "The exception was GPON, which had robust revenue growth predominately driven by China, where service providers continue their massive fiber build-outs."

Nozik added that they "expect growth for most segments to resume in 2013 after the fourth quarter lull."

From a geographic market perspective, Huawei, ZTE, and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) were the three top vendors to China, one of the largest FTTH markets. Outside of China, the worldwide top three vendors were Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, and Calix (NYSE: CALX).

Calix improved its market standing by acquiring Ericsson's (Nasdaq: ERIC) access division in 2012. Out of that deal, it added the Swedish vendor's EDA 1500 GPON Optical Line Terminal (ONT) and complementary optical network terminal (ONT) portfolios that are sold to a host of Tier 1 and Tier 2 service providers throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

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