ACG Research

ACG Research
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Friday, February 20, 2015

Worldwide Optical Market Increases Slightly in 4Q

Demand for rich media and OTT services to the home and mobile devices are market trends that continue to pressure providers to move DCs into the metro and enhance core infrastructures

The Worldwide Optical Networking market rebounded slightly in Q4 2014 to $3.375 billion in revenue, dipping 7.0 percent q-q but increasing 2.7 percent y-y. The year closed with annual revenue of $13.1 billion, 0.9 percent y-y increase. Demand for high-speed optical infrastructure remains steady, driven by increased sales of 100G interfaces in the Metro and LH WDM segments. “The 4Q revenue jump has been observed within the optical market for the last three out of four years. The year-over-year growth indicates a slight increase of spending but not necessarily a bullish market,” stated Dennis Ward, principal optical analyst, ACG.

Regionally, APAC is the top producing region though revenue declined 5.3 percent q-q. North America remained in the 2nd position, increasing 7.8 percent q-q and up 25.4 percent y-y. EMEA remained a strong 3rd at 11.4 percent q-q but showed a dip of 5.2 percent y-y. LAM improved with 6.3 percent q-q and 10.2 percent y-y growth.

The growth rate of 100G optical interfaces remains steady. The trend to support 4G and mobile Internet with its rich services is driving this as well as 400G trials in all regions. But 400G standards are still in flux. Although the Tier 1 communication service providers gear up for 2015, many of the optical equipment providers are finding a real market with the content service providers (CSPs) as they migrate their data centers into the metro closer to their customer bases. Some of these CSPs are looking for simple high- capacity solutions via dark fiber across the metro; others want more sophisticated long-haul solutions into the metro. “We see the demand for DCI bifurcating into two distinct market segments of products, small slot versus multislot solutions,” says Dennis Ward.  

Service provider SDN and NFV in combination with P-OTS/Metro WDM solutions are gaining traction in network infrastructure selection and deployments. P-OTS segment saw a quarterly dip in its revenue contribution but maintained its $.5 billion run rate, decreasing 7.9 percent q-q but increasing an impressive 28.9 percent y-y. The top five worldwide players in 4Q were Huawei, ZTE, Ciena, Infinera and Alcatel-Lucent, respectively.  

Metro WDM maintained its quarterly $1 billion run rate but decreased 0.7 percent q-q and 9.2 percent y-y. Metro traffic is predicted to grow faster than backbone traffic as more regional data centers are located closer to the user community. As much as 70 percent of the traffic is predicted to stay within the metro from which it originated, bolstering east-west traffic between data centers. The increase in DCI supports this trend and will drive the need for additional capacity by the traditional service providers, MSOs, cloud and data center operators.

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