3rd Party Optics - Why Pay More? - Hardware
Hardware EcommerceBuy
Support ServicesSupport
Chat with HardwareChat
Contact HardwareContact

3rd Party Optics – Why Pay More?

24th July 2019 | In Technology

The Problem

The alternative option of installing compatible optical transceivers is well known to most Operators, even if they are still procuring optics directly from the System Vendor due to contractual obligations.

Operators are squeezed by budget constraints at a time when investment in mass fibre deployments (FTTx) are common and increased bandwidth is needed in the data centre.

This combination has meant that many Tier 1 and 2 operators in Europe have approached Hardware.com to discuss the procurement and delivery of ProLabs compatible optics as a primary cost saving practice.

The Solution

The Operators need to not just understand the impact the procurement of compatible optics has on their TCO, but also on their internal resources and processes.

Most Operators are buying multiple optical transceiver SKUs across many different System Vendors’ platforms. The ranges include standard 1 and 10Gig SFPs, WDM, Bi-Directional, to the newer 40Gig QSFP+ and 100Gig QSFP128 parts and also OLT and ONT SFPs for GPON.

Due to both the commercial and technical aspects of these requirements, complex RFQ’s and/or Public Tenders are usually started by the Operators.


Working in close partnership with ProLabs, Hardware.com has been successful in winning many of these contracts across Europe and around the world. This shows that we have been able to demonstrate value for money in a competitive market place, but also that the ProLabs product offering combined with our flexibility and experience in dealing with global companies, is now proven to satisfy the stringent demands of the Operators.

Commercial Benefits

  • Multi-million Dollar cost savings versus the System Vendor’s optics pricing.
  • Flexible payment terms.
  • Upfront, fully costed, multi-year pricing structures; including price erosion over a certain time frame.
  • Volume discounts.

Technical Benefits

  • Custom builds – One Public Tender required a non-standard 1Gig transceiver with an enhanced sensitivity level. ProLabs were able to design and build the part, exceeding the required specification.
  • Dedicated engineering resources – ProLabs and Hardware have a combined investment of over $2.5million in lab equipment and a number of highly accredited engineers who provide a free-of-charge services to our volume optics customers for design, planning, testing and implementation.
  • Mirrored networks – We have replicated the network configs of operator’s networks in our labs for on-site and remote testing.
  • Increased product range – Breaking free of the set product range of a given System Vendor, allows more choice and flexibility in any network. ProLabs are able to supply many additional parts that are not available from the Vendors themselves. Such as extended distance Bi-Directional transceivers, or Active Optical Cables.
  • OEM design work – One FFTH tender has now expanded where are working in partnership with the Operator’s CPE manufacturer to design and supply a transceiver to be built into their gateway router.