Adtran CEO: CenturyLink Rebuilding Investment After Level 3-Induced Pause

Windstream has increased its investment with Adtran.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

August 23, 2018

3 Min Read
Fiber Optics

Adtran’s CEO says his company has diversified in recent months after overcoming a “holiday surprise” from CenturyLink.

Tom Stanton told reporters this week that his company had gone through three consecutive quarters of record revenue when CenturyLink paused its partnership with the networking hardware vendor.


ADTRAN’s Tom Stanton

“That was when the Level 3-CenturyLink merger happened, and at that point in time we were headlong into a very large-scale vectoring program with CenturyLink, and all of that kind of got put on hold,” Stanton said at media event at the company’s headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama.

Stanton later noted that CenturyLink has resumed business dealings with Adtran — albeit not at the same level. The carrier is deploying Adtran’s Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) fiber network and deploying vector.

And in the meantime, Adtran has grown its relationship with other carriers. Deutsche Telekom partners with Adtran and recently announced an initiative to move its customer base toward gigabit services. Stanton said Windstream has increased its investment as it upgrades its network.

“They’re starting to be very public about the positive impact its had to their bottom line,” Stanton said.

Stanton elaborated on three goals for Adtran for the next three to four years. The company’s first objective is to grow market share in its traditional space. But Stanton said that will entail a shift in Adtran’s R&D department to fiber.

“Our goal was not just to be the market leader in traditional copper technologies, as some of you may think of us,” he said. “But the only way that we’re actually going to be ahead of this game is to be the market leader in fiber technologies.”

Another objective is move into the MSO market, signaled by Adtran’s recent purchase of Sumitomo Electric’s EPON business unit. Stanton said Adtran is in the primary position for EPON deployments with Charter and Comcast. He said Comcast awarded ADTRAN its virtualized SBC business.

Stanton said Adtran has been selling to cable companies like Cox and Comcast for a long time.

“If you think of us today, you think of us as a carrier-focused company,” he said. “That’s not the way we want you to think of us.”

The company thirdly plans to grow its services and software offerings. Adtran on Thursday announced a new operating system for its Mosaic suite, which provides software-defined access architecture.

Chris Thompson, Adtran’s director of the Mosaic portfolio, said the offering allows customers to design “disaggregated” networks and be able to “work within any environment, in any way and with any player in the market.”

“That even includes our traditional competitors if they are willing to follow our lead, embrace a new way of thinking and open up their systems,” Thompson said. “That’s a radical shift in how things have been done in the past and how networks will be built going forward.”

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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