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10 years after: Optical market recovers from dot-com bust

Sustained growth seen as excess fiber is lit

By , Network World
September 28, 2010 11:46 AM ET

Network World - The optical market has commenced a sustained recovery 10 years after the dot-com bust, says market research firm iSuppli.

Worldwide optical telecom network equipment revenue will amount to $13.5 billion in 2010, up 7.7% from $12.5 billion in 2009. Revenue is expected to continue to rise during the next four years until it reaches $22.1 billion in 2014, the highest total since the market peak of $24.95 billion in 2000, iSuppli says.

While revenue briefly spiked in 2006 and 2007, the rise was not sustainable, with the market shrinking to depressed levels again in 2008 and 2009, the firm states.

Fiber acquired during the heady days just before the dot-com bubble went idle and unlit when the bust occurred. Now that the Internet has grown over that 10-year period – at a CAGR of 45%, according to iSuppli -- the excess fiber is being lit and companies are investing again in optical equipment.

In China, telcos will double their spending on passive optical network equipment from 2010 to 2014 to meet the needs of a rising tide if broadband Internet subscribers. Due to incentives and other economic stimuli, those users will grow to 242.7 million in 2014 from 132.5 million in 2008, according to iSuppli.

Optical network semiconductor revenue is projected to expand to $3.6 billion in 2014, up from $2.1 billion in 2010. The market for optical telecom MEMS technology will expand at a CAGR of 17.2% from 2009 to 2014, with revenue rising to $245.8 billion in 2014, up from $111.2 billion in 2009.

Read more about lans & wans in Network World's LANs & WANs section.

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