Global optical networking market on the up

The global optical networking market is estimated to reach revenues of $20 billion in 2016, according to analyst firm Ovum.

The global market is forecast to grow at 6% CAGR between 2010 and 2016, driven by investment from carriers in 40G and 100G networks. This level of growth, however, will vary according to region, with the North American market, for instance, estimated to grow by 12% this year while the Asia-Pacific market is predicted to contract by a further 3.2% in 2011.

“Increasing bandwidth from residential broadband networks, mobile networks, and enterprises is the key driver of the growth. Carriers are investing in access networks and mobile long-term evolution (LTE) roll-outs are beginning to gain momentum,” said Ovum analyst Ian Redpath.

“The optical networking market is also reaching a watershed moment in terms of technology. Networks based on 40G and 100G wavelengths are now poised for mass-market deployment.”

According to Redpath, the uptake of 40G and 100G is inspiring a “marked improvement” in the optical networking market following a recessionary period. The solid growth seen in North America is, he says, driven by the momentum from both carriers and non-carriers in building 100G networks. Other regions such as Europe, the Middle East and Africa are showing signs of improving from contraction to modest growth, but are stunted either by the need for basic infrastructure or the need for network refreshment after “two long years of recession-induced restraint”.

While the Chinese market has continued to grow, the contraction still occurring in the Asia-Pacific market stems from a “dry market in Japan and a government-induced freeze in India”. Ovum expects that in 2011, growth will occur again in Japan and India but will slow down in China.

The deployment of 100G networks was the subject of an in-depth analysis featured in the April edition of Capacity magazine (found here), which highlights the growth of adoption in North America while also questioning whether the technology will ever be a service requirement for carriers. 

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