Industry Focus - Optical Connections 2020


The last couple of years have seen players in the fibre optic communications industry thrive, as operators globally look to meet demands for higher data speeds and increased connectivity. But will the boom continue? We look to some top analysts for answers. INDUSTRY OUTLOOK, 2020 AND BEYOND

ACCESS OPTICS According to LightCounting’s annual Next Generation Access Optics report and forecast, published in December 2019, 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 two to three 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. Read more here. AOCS AND EOMS At the end of 2019, LightCounting also released the 12th edition of its active optical cables (AOCs) and embedded optical modules (EOMs) report which found that despite the diversity in products, nearly two-thirds of the total units from 2020-2024 will be due to just two products, 1x10G and 1x25G AOCs. That’s in spite of the fact that the company’s new AOC unit forecast for the year 2023, shown in the figure below, is 43% lower than its December 2018 forecast, mainly due to reduction in demand estimates for 1xN products by Chinese hyperscale datacenter operators. LightCounting’s AOC revenue forecast for 2023 has increased 20% however, due to a new 400G (8x50G) AOC that it believes will see significant usage in high performance computers (HPCs), cloud, and core routing applications.

Source: LightCounting



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