Ciena Corporation

  • Overview
Ciena doesn't limit itself to just one color of the spectrum. The company makes transport and switching equipment that increases the capacity of long-distance fiber-optic networks by transmitting multiple light signals simultaneously over the same circuit. It also sells optical transport systems for metro and enterprise wide-area networks, as well as broadband access products that enable communications companies to deliver Internet protocol (IP) services, such as VoIP, IP video, and DSL. Ciena serves telecommunications service providers, cable companies, large enterprises, and government entities.

Geographic Reach

Ciena has operations in North America, the Caribbean and Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia/Pacific. The company gets 53% of its sales from the US.


Ciena's packet-optical transport represents 64% of its total revenue each year thanks to its top products 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, the 4200 Advanced Services Platform, the 6100 Multiservice Optical Platform, the 5100/5200 Advanced Services Platform, and Common Photonic Layer products. This segment includes products used by network operators to increase network capacity and the speed of high-bandwidth services. 

The software and services segment, 22% of revenue, offers maintenance support, installation, deployment, and consulting services. Software and services includes Ciena One, the On-Center Network & Service Management Suite, and the OMEA and Preside platforms.

Packet-optical switching, 7% of revenue, is supported by demand for 5430 Reconfigurable Switching Systems and the CoreDirector Multiservice Optical Switches. This segment includes products that create automated optical infrastructures that support enterprise and consumer-oriented network services.

Carrier-Ethernet solutions, accounting for 7% of revenue, supplies the 3000 and 5000 families of service delivery switches, service aggregation switches, and legacy metro Ethernet and broadband products. Products in this segment support wireless backhaul infrastructures and business data services.

Financial Performance

From 2011 to 20122 Ciena's revenues increased by 5%, but the company posted a net loss for the fourth straight year. (Its loss for 2012, however, decreased by 26% with the help of lower expenses.)

The revenue spike was due to a 4% increase in packet-optical transport revenue due to higher sales of its 6500 Packet-Optical Platform. Ciena was especially helped by a 16% increase in software and services revenue and a 3% jump in Carrier-Ethernet solutions sales.


Holding more than 1,300 US patents and more than 400 foreign patents, Ciena is focusing product development in all its segments on new demand for converged optical Ethernet networking products and services that support mobile devices, video applications, and cloud and virtual computing.

The company looks to expand in Brazil, India, Japan, the Middle East, and Russia, and in customer markets that include enterprises, wireless operators, cable operators, submarine network operators, Internet content providers, cloud infrastructure providers, research and education organizations, and governments.


Financial services firm BlackRock owns 10% of the company; Loomis, Sayles & Company owns 18%.

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Ciena Corporation

7035 Ridge Rd
Hanover, MD 21076-1426
Phone: 1 (410) 694-5700
Fax: 1 (410) 6945750


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: CIEN,
  • Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
  • President and CEO; Director: Gary Smith
  • Chairman: Patrick Nettles
  • President and CEO; Director: Gary Smith

Major Office Locations

  • Hanover, MD