Wireless fronthaul demand good news for optics market – report

Created September 18, 2019
News and Business

Market watcher LightCounting says global sales of optical transceivers reached US$1.3 billion in Q2 2019 – up 5% sequentially, but down 2% from Q2 2018. There is a good chance that this market will post modest growth this year, consistent with its forecast, published in April 2019. Demand for Ethernet transceivers picked up, after three quarters of declines and the outlook for the rest of the year is improving. The market for DCI optical transport solutions is growing based on the reports by Ciena and several other suppliers. This helped to sustain sales of CWDM/DWDM transceivers and lift shipments of WSS modules to a new record in H1 2019. A surge in deployments of 4G LTE and the first 5G wireless systems was reflected in financial reports of Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia and ZTE.

Increasing mobile infrastructure deployment is also evident in the shipment data for wireless fronthaul optics, collected by LightCounting from the leading transceiver suppliers, shown in the figure below. This segment is likely to reach US$800 million in 2019 – well above expectations. A lot of the demand for wireless optics came from China, but South Korea and North America made sizable contributions to this market as well.

LightCounting also says sales of 100GbE PS M4, LR4 and ER4 Lite modules were up  sharply in Q2 2019. Pricing of CWDM4 transceivers seems to be stabilising, so it should result in growth in sales of these products in H2 2019. Demand for 200GbE and above (including all variants of 2x200GbE, 4x100GbE and 400GbE) optics is picking up and sales of these products are on target to exceed US$200 million by the end of 2019.

The Quarterly Market Update report provides a snapshot of optical transceiver growth trends, backed up with detailed quarter-by-quarter sales data collected via LightCounting’s proprietary vendor survey. Performance metrics and commentary for top-tier telecom and internet service providers, network and datacom equipment makers and optical component and semiconductor vendors are also included, to provide an understanding of what drives sales trends at the transceiver level.

The report consists of approximately 100 PowerPoint slides with many charts and tables suitable for reuse in client presentations. An Excel spreadsheet is also included with the report, providing the latest 8 quarters of shipments, prices, and revenues for ~100 products spanning the Ethernet, Fibre Channel, WDM, Wireless, and FTTH segments. Quarterly revenue and spending data for 30 top CSPs and ICPs, and quarterly revenues for 22 equipment makers, 15 optical components vendors, and 17 semiconductor manufacturers is also included.

For more information, visit www.lightcounting.com

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.