China to boost Access Optics market – report

Created December 16, 2019
News and Business

According to LightCounting’s just published annual Next Generation Access Optics report and forecast, sales of optical transceivers for wireless fronthaul and backhaul more than doubled in 2019 because of acceleration in deployments of 5G in China. It says that this market segment will continue to grow rapidly in 2020-2021, but it is projected to decline subsequently. It finds that Chinese service providers plan to complete most of their fronthaul deployments for 5G in the next 2-3 years and growing demand for these products from all other regions will not be sufficient to compensate for lower sales in China.


Service providers in the US and Europe have a lot less fronthaul fibre deployed, and other regions are even further behind. While all service providers will continue to deploy more fibre and fronthaul optics, all these projects combined will not be able to match the scale of initial deployments of fronthaul optics in China.

LightCounting says that China has what could be the best environment for a healthy access optics demand of any country. It has the world’s largest population, living in largely urban settings, and a central government willing to spend large amounts of money on infrastructure such as Internet access. While some small countries have achieved much higher penetration rates of FTTx and mobile broadband, the other large countries have relied to a great extent on market forces to direct investment in fixed and mobile broadband. As a result, China has been and will remain the largest single-country market in terms of consumption of both wireless and fixed access optics for the next five years.

Source: LightCounting

The report also notes that sales of FTTx optics declined in the last 3 years, but this segment is projected to return to growth in 2020-2024. Despite significant investments to 5G, China Mobile (CM) and China Telecom (CT) plan to offer higher speed (up to 1Gbps) wireline connectivity to a wide range of customers next year and scale up deployments of 10G PON ONUs to support higher speed connections. The combined number of CM and CT FTTx customers account for more than 50% of the total number of FTTx subscribers in the world. These two service providers will continue to dominate demand for FTTx optics in 2020 and beyond, just like they did in 2016-2019.

This report covers current and future network access architectures, service provider deployment strategies and trends, component requirements, and the products needed. Tutorials on mobile fronthaul, FTTx, and cable TV networks are included as well. A detailed Excel spreadsheet accompanies the report, providing a five-year forecast of wireless and FTTx optics shipments, prices and revenues, broken down by speeds, reaches, and colours.

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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.