Bandwidth boom drives worldwide connector consumption

Th 1000 Pg33



Higher-bandwidth demand is fueling the global fiber-optic connector and mechanical-splice market, according to an August report from research company Electroni Cast Corp. (San Mateo, CA). Global consumption in 1999 was $716.5 million. Singlemode connectors ac counted for 55% or $396.26 million of the worldwide market in 1999, followed by multimode connectors at 39% or $281.33 million, and mechanical splices at 5% or $38.88 million.

North America represented more than half of the total market with 51% or $367.7 million, followed by Europe with 24%, Japan/Pacific Rim with 18%, South America with 4%, and the rest of the world with 2% in 1999. Consumption of multimode connectors is considerably higher in North America due to the use of this type of connector in premises networks, horizontal interconnects, and equipment such as switches. Multimode-connector consumption accounted for 53% or $196.09 million of the North America market in 1999, followed by single mode connectors at 42% or $152.73 million, and mechanical splices at 5% or $18.84 million. The Table provides a fiber-opticconnector market forecast by type for North America.

The total fiber-optic connector/ mechanical-splice market will continue to thrive over the next decade, according to ElectroniCast estimates. The average annual growth during the next five years is forecast at 18.9%, reaching $1.7 billion in 2004. Growth during the next five years will be even higher at 23.7% per year, climbing to $4.9 billion by 2009.

Singlemode-connector consumption will continue to represent more than half of the total market, accounting for 57% or $966.73 million in 1999, and 56% or $2.77 billion in 2009. While still predominantly used in telecommunications networks, consumption for local-area and wide-area networks will increase along with data rates (more than 1 Gbit/sec) and the distances between network nodes. Multimode connectors will also experience growth during the period, representing 40% or $676.58 million of total market consumption in 2004 and 42% or $2.1 billion in 2009. Th 1000 Pg33

During the decade, worldwide consumption of multimode connectors will increase to slightly higher than singlemode connectors. Singlemode and multimode connectors each represented 48% of total units in 1999. However, multimode-connector worldwide unit consumption will increase to 48.4% of the total market in 2004 and 49% in 2009. The large growth of singlemode and multimode connectors from 1999 to 2009 will be offset by a 3% decline per year in average prices, according to ElectroniCast.

Worldwide consumption of mechanical splices will decline during the decade from 5% or $38.8 million in 1999 to 4% or $62.62 million in 2004, then drop to 2% or $97.2 million by 2009. These devices are used primarily for emergency restoration in telecommunications.

Worldwide consumption by region during the decade will shift only slightly, with North America representing 48% or $821.8 million of the total market in 2004 and 42% or $2.09 billion by 2009. Each of the other identified regions-Europe, Japan/Pacific Rim, and South America-will gain a single percentage point by 2004 and two additional percentage points by 2009. The rest of the world will increase from 2% in 1999 to 3% by 2009.

As fiber moves closer to users, the result is shorter links where connectors make up a substantial portion of installation costs. Thus, the trend is toward smaller, multifiber connectors that reduce space requirements and the cost per fiber interconnect, observes Stephen Montgomery, president of ElectroniCast.

More in Market Research