Will Third-Party Transceivers and Optics Void My Warranty? - Putting the Myth to Rest

Building and upgrading a commercial network can be an expensive business, which is why those in charge of purchasing decisions are keen to find ways of reducing costs without undermining the performance or reliability of their equipment.


Fibrestorm Optical Transceiver

Author: Mike Peacey

One of the most important ways of accomplishing this is to simply shop around when investing in network equipment. Instead of relying on expensive vendor-branded gear across your entire network, it is often possible to find third-party alternatives that offer the same high-quality performance at a fraction of the price.

However, in some cases, potential buyers feel unsure about utilising third-party optics and transceivers, due to concerns that using these products will void the warranty of the equipment it is being used on. Here, we aim to put this myth to rest once and for all by giving you the complete facts on why you can invest in high-quality third-party transceivers with real confidence.

The reasons for this misconception

In most cases, the reason why buyers believe that using third-party products will void their warranties is a simple misunderstanding of the information provided to them by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) responsible for their core network equipment.

As a rule, OEMs will always recommend purchasing vendor-branded equipment and accessories for use with their products, warning of potential performance issues that could arise by mixing and matching different parts. While this is partially motivated by the OEMs’ desire to provide advice that guarantees compatibility and predictable performance, it is also true that OEM vendors have a commercial interest in ensuring their customers feel locked into implementing a brand-homogenous network.

Although this does minimise any possible concerns about compatibility, sticking solely to vendor-branded equipment is also an expensive proposition. OEMs and their distributors are generally locked into non-negotiable contractual agreements that specify minimum sales prices on their branded products. This means that the customer will inevitably end up paying more for vendor-branded gear compared to third-party alternatives - even if in reality, the performance of the two is essentially identical.

Industry research has shown that this difference in price is not insignificant. According to a Gartner report from 2017, OEMs mark up the cost of their transceivers much more than most other hardware products, with many customers regularly overpaying by 50% or more on a regular basis, and deep discounts often unavailable.

Why your warranty status is safe

Often, those responsible for selling or marketing vendor-branded transceivers will make the claim that using a third-party option will void the warranty on their OEM equipment. In the vast majority of cases, this is simply not true.

Here are some of the reasons why there is unlikely to be any reason to worry about a trusted, high-quality third-party product affecting your warranty status:

  • Transceivers, optical cables and other network equipment are covered by multi-source agreements (MSAs), made between manufacturers across the industry to create de facto standards that ensure these products are compatible across different vendors and support a competitive market
  • OEM vendors are legally obliged to uphold the terms of your warranty unless it can be proven that they were damaged by third-party accessories
  • Transceivers simply convert electrical data into an optical signal, and do not output any power or voltage back into the equipment itself. This means the risk of damaging the OEM equipment is minimal
  • As part of the industry's MSAs, equipment such as transceivers are created in standardised sizes and shapes, ensuring compatibility with your current setup

It is also worth bearing in mind that third-party transceivers and optics sold by trusted vendors like Fibrestorm will come with their own warranty protection, meaning you will be fully protected against any problems with these devices.

The additional benefits of third-party optics

With concerns about the status of your warranty set aside, you and your business will be able to take advantage of the full range of advantages that buying from a trusted third-party vendor can provide. These include:

  • Considerable cost savings compared to the prices on offer for OEM-branded products, with flexible payment terms, multi-year pricing structures and bulk order discounts available
  • A broader product range, including additional options and functionality that may not be available from their vendor-branded counterparts
  • The option of bespoke custom builds, allowing you to work with your vendor to create tailored products that are built to meet your technical needs and specifications exactly

Of course, taking a diligent approach to assessing product compatibility and performance benchmarks are always a good idea when investing in any piece of crucial network equipment. By working closely with your vendor and asking them the right questions, you can strike the perfect balance between performance, costs and long-term reliability. You can also rest assured knowing that you will be protected against all eventualities in line with your consumer rights.

To find out more about Fibrestorm's range of high-performance compatible optical transceivers, get in touch with us today. Our in-house team of technical experts are here to answer any questions you might have, and to advise you on the very best solutions for your network.