The Dell’Oro Group forecasts that the global optical transport market will grow to $13 billion (€9.6 billion) in 2017, equating to a 10-percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
In 2012 SONET/SDH sales declined by over 20 percent, greater than Dell’Oro expected, while WDM equipment sales held their own.
Dell’Oro expects optical transport growth across all the main regions, with no one region dominating. The market research company does foresee greater growth in Europe given the prolonged underspend of recent years.
European operators are planning broadband access investment such as fibre-to-the-cabinet/ VDSL vectoring as well as fibre-to-the-home. “That will drive demand for backhaul bandwidth and that is where WDM fits in well,” said Jimmy Yu, vice president, microwave transmission, mobile backhaul and optical transport at Dell’Oro.
Forty and 100 Gigabit optical transport will be the main WDM growth areas through 2017. Yu expects 40 Gigabit demand to grow over the forecast period even if the growth rate will taper off due to demand for 100 Gigabit.
The 100 Gigabit market continues to exceed Dell’Oro’s own forecasted growth. The market research company predicts 100-Gbps wavelength shipments to grow at a 75 percent CAGR over the next five years, accounting for 60 percent of the WDM capacity shipments by 2017.
“A lot of people wonder why have 40 Gig when there is 100 Gig but that granularity does help service providers; having 40 Gig and 100 Gig rather than going straight from 10 Gig to 100 Gig,” said Yu.
By Roy Rubenstein