Growth in optical-transport market to keep rolling on

* Optical transport equipment, particularly 40Gbps, expected to resume growth

Never mind the current recession. This is just a hiccup that in only a small way detracts from the tremendousness of the continued growth of the world's communications infrastructure.

Such is the impression I got from a recent report from the Dell'Oro Group. The report predicted that total worldwide revenue from optical transport equipment would decline 9% this year, but - look out! In 2010, revenue will resume its growth.

In fact, Dell'Oro says, we'll see shipments of 40Gbps wavelengths growing at a rate of at least 50% in each of the next five years.

The overall optical transport market will reach $14.5 billion in 2013, the research firm predicts. Those 40Gbps wavelengths will be responsible for nearly a third of the capacity being shipped in DWDM long-haul systems by that year.

Dell'Oro says that the worldwide recession works to 40 Gigabit's advantage, in a way. While the market will contract this year, in a longer-term sense, there will be an "opportunity for technologies that will help service providers reduce their capital expense while still expanding their network capacity," the firm writes. Over time, the price per bit of a 40Gbps wavelength will drop lower than that of a 10Gbps wavelength in a DWDM long-haul system, making 40Gbps a very attractive next step.

Shipments of equipment that supports 100Gbps wavelengths are expected in late 2011.

Meanwhile, the IEEE task force looking at 40 Gigabit Ethernet and 100 Gigabit Ethernet is looking to complete its standards work by mid-2010.

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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