As seen in the October 26, 2009, COMPTEL Connection
Fujitsu Network Communications
Headquarters: Richardson, TX
Q: What does your company do and how long has it been in operation?
A: Fujitsu began its telecommunications operations in the United States in 1980 as the transmission division of Fujitsu America, providing analog and microwave radio transmission systems for MCI. In 1984, the company established manufacturing operations and customer support functions in Richardson, Texas, to be near our largest customer (MCI at that time). In 1988, we delivered the first SONET multiplexer, an OC-3-based system, to U.S. West and by 1990, we had become the leader in developing and manufacturing SONET equipment for North America. The increasing demand for Fujitsu SONET products led to the construction of our $80 million telecommunications headquarters in Richardson—the first to be built outside of Japan by Fujitsu—for additional manufacturing, planning, research and development, and customer support.
Since then over 400,000 Fujitsu network elements have been deployed by nearly all major carriers across North America. We have remained a leader in SONET for 20 years, and also have taken market leadership roles in Metro DWDM and now Packet Optical Networking, which is the latest optical networking advancement.
Q: To what do you attribute your company’s success in the communications industry?
A: Fujitsu has established a strong 25-year track record of success in the North American market with most major telecom and cable service providers. This history of success is based on our ability to deliver new products that help our customers migrate from one network technology generation to the next, and meet customer demand, planned or unplanned. Our performance has sustained our success and garnered Fujitsu recognition from our customers with consecutive annual customer satisfaction awards for product quality, on-time delivery, cost, support, and account management.
Q: What have been the biggest obstacles your company has faced in the marketplace?
A: Industry consolidation (customer and vendor) is challenging in the telecom market as a whole. Mergers of local and long distance carriers have resulted in fewer customers and increased pricing pressures, while supplier mergers have also impacted pricing, as well as increased competition in terms of broader offerings and capabilities from a product portfolio perspective.
These aforementioned areas, along with continual shifts in capital spending toward transformational technologies, present additional challenges for vendors in terms of delivering new products at the right time at similar or reduced costs as compared to existing platforms, while also balancing R&D investment with increasing profitability.
Q: What do you see as your greatest challenges going forward?
A: The next two years will present on-going challenges for all network equipment suppliers, including Fujitsu. Our company continues to grow in a very challenging environment while maintaining a focus on increasing profitability. We see small top line growth in 2009 over 2008 and now lead the North American market with #1 share in multiservice aggregation, Metro WDM/ROADM, and the overall category of optical transport. In 1QFY09 alone, Fujitsu added eight new FLASHWAVE 9500 customers for our flagship packet optical networking platform, and we anticipate a #1 position in this emerging segment shortly.
Q: What have been some of your company’s most recent achievements (new customer wins, new service/product deployment, etc.)?
A: Our latest flagship platform is the FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet Optical Networking Platform (Packet ONP), which integrates connection-oriented Ethernet (COE), ROADM, and SONET transport technologies into a single addressable optical networking element. Packet optical networking platforms are key for mobile backhaul, enterprise Ethernet services and general metro traffic growth. In the mobile backhaul application, COE provides the bandwidth elasticity of Ethernet but adds the determinism of SONET, which is critical for these applications. Packet optical networking platforms are a much more cost-effective and scalable choice for metro aggregation infrastructure than are traditional packet elements such as routers and switches.
The FLASHWAVE 9500 platform has won universal acclaim from industry analysts and in 2007 was named Light Reading’s Best New Product. In 2008 Verizon selected the FLASHWAVE 9500 platform to consolidate their SONET, Ethernet, and wavelength services networks and facilitate deployment of FiOS packet-based services, including high-definition video on demand, higher-speed Internet access, and advanced voice services. The FLASHWAVE 9500 is also being deployed by FiberLight and SDN Communications, as well as several other COMPTEL member companies.
Q: Why is it important for your company to be a COMPTEL member?
A: Fujitsu believes in the importance of staying informed with regard to industry changes and new customer requirements. Being a part of COMPTEL will allow Fujitsu staff to interact with industry colleagues, gain access to information specific to new developments, operations, and policies and to participate in working groups to help shape the future of the industry.