Week in research: Competition could dampen business services; Alcatel-Lucent tops optical vendors

Business services won't always be a boon: Cable operators, buoyed by the revenue generated through providing voice and other business services to enterprises and SMBs, may not see those profits for much longer, according to Insight Research. The current $7 billion business services market is expected to grow only modestly through 2017, while competition remains fierce. "While their legacy in providing services to residential segments may give them confidence they can grow profitably in this adjacent segment, the cable operator's challenges will be steep and growth is dependent upon taking market share from entrenched players" said Fran Caulfield, research director at Insight Research. "Our study concludes that despite these obstacles, cable operators will forge ahead and the entrenched telco providers will likely respond with investments, price, and improved performance to combat this threat." News release

Optical vendors vie for market dominance: Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)topped the list of optical equipment vendors in an Infonetics survey of 10G/40G/100G purchasers from 20 incumbent and competitive telcos and wireless operators worldwide. The France-based vendor passed Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN), which led the rankings last year, followed by Huawei and Infinera. The operators surveyed represent 28 percent of global telecom revenue and capital expenditures (capex).  News release

Infonetics Optical Vendor ranking 2012

Meanwhile, in Albania: Telecoms looking for new markets to expand into might look to Albania, where fixed-line services have just a 12 percent penetration rate—one of the lowest in the region, according to Research and Markets. The difficulty of accessing wireline services as well as fixed-line broadband has led, as in other countries, to much higher mobile service takeup by consumers. In addition, the country's GDP has remained stable despite the economic troubles of its trading partners Greece and Italy, and its pre-accession status with the European Union means financial aid has been made available to build public institutions. News release