Optical hardware Q1 spending falls 23%; mobile broadband rises

Optical hardware spending plummets: Providers aren't spending as much on optical network hardware, Infonetics Research found in a look at first-quarter 2012 spending globally. Spending plummeted 23 percent last quarter, with much of the trend noted in Europe and the EMEA region. "While optical hardware revenue trends in all world regions were not positive in the first quarter of 2012, the most alarming development is that year-over-year in EMEA--particularly Europe--spending on WDM optical equipment decreased faster than spending on legacy SDH equipment," notes Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst for optical at Infonetics Research. "This is not the behavior of a region experiencing only a minor quarterly pullback." While it's not all bad news--North America should see moderate growth in Q2 and China will see solid gains in spending this year, the drop in spending signals vendors and carriers there are "battening down the hatches" amid Europe's ongoing economic troubles. News release

Infonetics optical

U.S. business goes gaga for mobile: So, what are North American businesses planning to spend in 2012? Insight Research predicts that U.S. businesses alone will spend $154 billion for telecommunications services this year, and $184 billion by 2016. The bulk of that growth will be for wireless services, with spending on wireline services staying "essentially flat" through 2016. Article

Ethernet controller shipments rise: Emulex (NYSE: ELX) and Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) led the pack among Ethernet controller and adapter vendors in Q1 2012, Dell'Oro Group reports, as 10 Gbps controllers saw double-digit growth. "Controller shipments surged while adapters rose modestly as the two form factors ship at different points in the supply chain," said Sameh Boujelbene, analyst covering controllers and adapters at Dell'Oro Group. "We surmise Emulex's growth was propelled by HP (NYSE: HPQ), while Intel's was propelled by a variety of manufacturers which standardize on the Intel server platform, such as Oracle, Super Micro and contract manufacturers like Quanta." Other vendors saw mostly "even" growth sequentially. News release

Mobile broadband reigns in Finland: Following the trend in other parts of the globe, Finland's DSL subscriber base shrank in 2011, Research and Markets reports, along with fixed-voice subscriptions. Mobile broadband appears to be on a growth track--more than half of all broadband subscribers in Finland use mobile broadband. Thanks to roaming agreements with Russia along with an agreement allowing Finland to use Russia's 800 MHz spectrum for LTE, mobile broadband's future is looking up. Finnish incumbent operator DNA Oy, which recently started restructuring, has extended HSPA/LTE service to over 50 percent of the country's population, and is providing 200 Mbps broadband service. DNA is also testing 1.5 Gbps service. Mobile competitor Telcordia, meantime, is offering 48 Mbps mobile broadband service. News release