For what it’s worth, Adtran — always an early earnings reporter and thus a sort of canary in the coal mine for equipment vendors — reported a modest increase in order activity in the new year, across all product categories (and Adtran sells into both the carrier access and enterprise spaces), compared with both December and November.
However, the company attached to those comments the caveat that they’re only talking about the first three weeks of the quarter, which is not enough information upon which to forecast even that same quarter. The company is projecting flat to slightly negative sequential revenue growth in Q109.
“Entering the year, our sense was many enterprises and service providers would begin spending through 2009 more slowly, in order to maximize capital budget flexibility through the year, which still may be the case,” UBS analysts wrote in a research note on Adtran today.
UBS has said telco spending could drop as much as 10% this year. It’s unknown, however, how federal aid tied to economic and broadband stimulus will affect the year.