Optical communications market will grow through 2015, despite global economic uncertainty

Dec. 14, 2011
Eugene, OR--According to its latest forecast, LightCounting says that the optical communications market will grow through 2015 despite global macroeconomic uncertainty.

Eugene, OR--According to its December 2011 report entitled Optical Communications Market Forecast: Tested by an Earthquake and a Flood in 2011, the Industry is Poised to Navigate Well Through Macroeconomic Uncertainty in 2012-2015, LightCounting reported that the optical communications market will grow despite global uncertainty. The report offers a detailed forecast for sales of communications optical components and modules for 2012-2015, with data provided by 25 leading optical component and module vendors.

NOTE: Regarding global "macroeconomic uncertainty", please make sure to read the January issue of Laser Focus World where we reveal, in our Annual Laser Market Review & Forecast, just how this uncertainty will impact the laser markets in 2012 (for the 2011 forecast, click here). You can also attend the Laser Marketplace Seminar (www.marketplaceseminar.com) and hear the details first-hand from market leaders in the laser and photonics industry.

For the 2011 optical communications industry, despite global macroeconomic uncertainty, the report says that there was plenty of positive news. Total revenues and capital expenditures (CapEx) of the top 12 service providers increased by 7.5% and 5%, respectively, after two years of stagnation in 2009 and 2010. The popularity of smartphones and mobile broadband services, combined with datacenter upgrades and cloud computing, are driving this growth.

While carriers are seeing improvement in their top lines, they are still being cautious about CapEx given the market uncertainty. However, carriers are increasingly tying their CapEx budget to network infrastructure investments to support growing demand for bandwidth. This results in a steady cash flow for the networking industry supply chain. Sales of networking equipment are up by more than 10% in 2011, and suppliers of optical transceivers are looking at an 8% increase in 2011 sales, after a 36% jump in 2010 and despite all the disruptions caused by the earthquake in Japan and the flood in the central heartland of Thailand.

"We maintain our earlier projections for the total optical transceiver market to grow at 11% CAGR in 2012-2015, but there is a good chance that these projections will prove to be conservative," said Vladimir Kozlov, founder and CEO of LightCounting. "A lot of exciting changes in the industry will benefit optical component and module suppliers. Increased bandwidth available to the end users is just starting to make an impact on the rest of the network, and demand for optical technologies will remain robust for years if not decades."

The report includes historical data from 2008 to 2011 and a detailed market forecast through 2015 for optical components and modules used in Ethernet, Fibre Channel, SONET/SDH, CWDM/DWDM, wireless infrastructure, FTTx, and high-performance computing (HPC) applications. The sales data for 2008 to 2011 account for more than 30 transceiver vendors, including 25 vendors that shared confidential sales data with LightCounting. The market forecast for 2012-2015 is based on LightCounting's model correlating transceiver sales with network traffic growth and projected subscribers of FTTx systems.

SOURCE: LightCounting; www.lightcounting.com/December%202011%20Forecast.cfm

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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