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As the Data Comms industry rapidly consolidates, what happens next?

At the Optical Networking and Communication Conference & Exhibition (OFC) in San Diego, California, last month, it was clear that the Data Comms industry is maturing and consolidating very rapidly. OFC is the largest data communications exhibition in the world and a good barometer of the global, optical network, hardware market. These are just some of the announcements made at OFC and the company valuations and investments are staggering!

  • Nvidia acquiring Mellanox for $6.9bn in cash, out-bidding Intel.
  • Cambridge Industries Group’s (CIG) strategic agreement with Lumentum Holdings Inc. who bought Oclaro last year for $1.8 billion.
  • II-VI Incorporation acquiring optical components market leader Finisar for $3.2 billion.
  • Hengtong Optic-Electric extending its strategic partnership with Rockley Photonics and investing $30m.

In my experience, this phenomenon is usually followed by spin-outs and start-ups funded by individuals and businesses who have made a fortune from the types of acquisitions and investments we are seeing here. It could be an unsettled few years for datacomms, but one defined by rapid technology development and a few millionaires!

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