Is This Technology's Worst Industry?

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The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which senior technology analyst Eric Bleeker and consumer goods editor and analyst Austin Smith discuss topics across the investing world.

Through last weekend, the telecom equipment industry had put up some ugly results over the past year. Ciena was down 57%, Ericsson down 44%, Infinera down 19%, Alcatel-Lucent down 76%, and Acme Packet down 71%. In this video, Eric wonders if this industry has become much like the airline industry: hugely capital intensive and unable to benefit shareholders. Over the last 20 years, most airline companies returned close to -100% returns thanks to hyper-competition and rising fuel costs. The telecom equipment industry suffers from the pricing power large telecoms can wield and also from new low-price entrants from China. Not only that, but smaller innovative companies like Infinera and Acme Packet have a hard time breaking in as telecoms fear their longevity. Even suppliers to the telecom industry like JDS Uniphase -- which was down 53% over the last year itself -- have struggled to maintain their own pricing power. Eric offers a look into what's holding the telecom industry back, but also offers some hope from an airline example that succeeded where others failed.

Investors are looking into telecom equipment for a very simple reason: Bandwidth is exploding from both mobile devices and media like Internet videos. While telecom equipment has been unable to benefit from this trend, we've created a report called "The Next Trillion-Dollar Revolution" that details a hidden component play inside mobile phones that benefits not only from the growth of smartphones and tablets, but also from new devices needing to power all the new media like high-def video. Inside the report, we not only describe why the mobile revolution will dwarf any other technology revolution seen before it, but we also name the company at the forefront of the trend. Hundreds of thousands have requested access to previous reports, and you can access this new report today by clicking here -- it's free.

At the time this article was published Austin Smithhas no positions in the stocks mentioned above.Eric Bleekerhas no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Infinera.Motley Fool newsletter services recommendAcme Packet and Infinera . Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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