WDM Drives Optical Transport Market

Created February 2, 2018
Jimmy Yu, Vice President at Dell’Oro GroupNews and Business

According to a recent forecast report by research house Dell’Oro Group, demand for Wavelength Division Multiplexer (WDM) equipment is forecast to drive the Optical Transport market through 2022. Wavelengths at 200 Gbits/s are expected to contribute a larger share of capacity shipments over the forecast period.

“We anticipate a number of significant changes to the Optical Transport market over the next five years,” said Jimmy Yu, Vice President at Dell’Oro Group. “Some of these changes include: WDM systems increasingly being used in metro access and aggregation locations; disaggregated systems comprising a larger share of the WDM market; issues scaling bandwidth economically; and WDM systems increasingly being purchased directly by end users for Datacentre Interconnect (DCI).”

Additional highlights from the Dell’Oro Optical Transport 5-Year Forecast Report include:

-The overall Optical Transport market, including WDM, Multiservice Multiplexers and Optical Switches, is projected to grow at a 2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the forecast period

-DCI will not be the sole driver behind disaggregated systems taking a large share of the WDM market, as a broader market adoption of disaggregated transponder units will also be a contributing factor

-Demand for 100 Gbits/s wavelengths is expected to peak in terms of revenue in 2018, while shipments are expected to peak in 2020.

In another new piece of WDM research, Technavio’s Global Optical Transceiver Market 2018-2022 report notes that one trend in the market is migration of Optical Transport Networks (OTNs) toward WDM architecture. OTNs have started migrating from SONET technology toward WDM architecture, and more prominently to dense WDM (DWDM). Technavio judges that the deployment of DWDM systems by carriers has benefited them to a great extent in terms of capacity increases, and reductions in the cost of deploying an overlay of multiple networks for each service offering or single-channel networks.

But one size may not fit all. Technavio states that the market is characterised by different architecture requirements. For example, the network architecture requirements of regional carriers, such as Tier 2 and Tier 3 carriers, differ significantly from Tier 1 carriers that have the integrated switched OTN as their transport technology. The applicability and match of OTN switching into the regional carrier’s space have to be evaluated, cautions the research company. Regional carriers may not require such high-capacity networks as the demand for bandwidth from their service areas may be significantly lower.




This article was written
by John Williamson

John Williamson is a freelance telecommunications, IT and military communications journalist. He has also written for national and international media, and been a telecoms advisor to the World Bank.