Next show in
 d  h  m
08 August 2012
Ovum is upbeat about the long-term forecast for sales of optical networking equipment. The analyst firm is predicting that sales will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5% to reach $20 billion (€16.2 billion) by 2017.


“The new bandwidth driver is data centres,” said Ian Redpath, principal analyst in Ovum’s network infrastructure practice. “Large-scale data centres continue to be built out – both the multi-tenant, carrier-neutral variety and private data centres.”  And those data centres demand terabit connectivity, both internal and external.
New data centres are being placed in locations off the beaten track that have been selected for their proximity to cheap electricity or cooling. For example, Facebook is building a “green” data centre at Luleå, Sweden, near the Arctic Circle (Facebook choses TeliaSonera for pan-European network).
This kind of activity is not unique to Lapland – it is emblematic of a trend unfolding in multiple locations around the world, according to Ovum.
Latin America will be the fastest growing region, driven by network modernisation efforts. North America is expected to exhibit solid growth as network operators embrace new 100G technology to meet their growing data centre needs. Growth in Asia-Pacific is forecast to continue but at a more sedate pace than before, while the EMEA market is expected to expand, despite the current macro-economic malaise, particularly in Russia, the UK, Eastern Europe and Africa. In China, the optical network market has trebled in size over the past five years and continues to grow.
The global optical network market is at a very interesting point in its evolution, says Redpath.  New bandwidth demands are arising just as the industry’s latest technology offering is coming to fruition. In Europe and North America there is a “perfect storm”: high-bandwidth pressure is building, networks based on the last generation of technology – 10G – have filled up, and the next generation of network technology – 100G – is ready for deployment.
By Pauline Rigby