Ciena is stepping up its push to capitalize on its dominant position in what it tips as “the hot submarine cable upgrade market in Asia-Pacific,” and is eying network expansion opportunities around new projects such as the Australia-Singapore Cable rollout.
Ciena’s Senior Director of Business Development and Solutions Anup Changaroth spoke to Telecom Times on the sidelines of the 2017 Capacity Asia event in Hong Kong. Changaroth said the sub cable upgrade market as a whole had developed into a multi-billion market on a global basis.
“The hottest market has been in Asia, that’s where a lot of the activity has been,” he said. “Of course you’ve [also] got your Trans-Pacific Japan to US market – which has seen about 14 cable systems on that route. Of the 14 cable systems, about 80 per cent of it runs Ciena equipment today.”
“We’ve got multiple cable systems operators looking at upgrades in that particular segment,” added Changaroth, noting that many of the routes supplied by Ciena were looking to upgrade and add more wavelengths every year.
“The intra-Asia market, which means Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore – that whole North Asia region is very hot,” he said. “There is a lot of upgrade market. And we’ve announced a number of customers publicly with that particular market space. PCCW is a perfect example of an operator that works in that Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore market space.”
“And then you’ve got the Atlantic systems, which is from Europe to the US, which is also pretty hot. And on that particular route, again, we’ve got pretty much majority market share. People like Hibernia, and all those cable systems on that,” said Changaroth.
He explained how the network upgrade market took place in a multi-process. “People upgrade every couple of years, and there are usually multiple phases – they add capacity at every phase,” he said.
In terms of the ANZ region Changaroth said Ciena supplied the bulk of Southern Cross’ cable systems, which connect Australia to the US west coast. “They continue to expand, and Southern Cross has been a great customer,” he said.
“Australia-Singapore, and Indonesia – that segment is relatively new, I would say, in terms of cable built, so there’s a couple of new cable builds,” Changaroth said. “We haven’t been involved in some of that, because it’s been new cable builds.”
“But even there, you know, some of the new cable builds, as soon as the stop building those out, they start talking about network expansion,” he added. “And then once they start talking about expansion, that’s when Ciena comes into play quite often as well, that’s where we can start looking at the upgrade market.”
“We’ve been talking to a few of those guys who are starting to build,” said Changaroth. “They’re only in the very early stages of building these new cables, but already talking about expansion systems.”