Europe, Asia overtake North America

3 July 2002 -- North America no longer the world's largest optical networking market, says RHK.

3 July 2002 -- North America is no longer the world's largest optical networking market, according to telecoms market research company RHK Inc.

In data released today at the the 6th annual WDM & Metro Optical Networking Conference in Cannes, France, the San Francisco-based consulting firm predicted that European and Asian regions will each overtake North America, previously thought to be the world's largest regional market.

Asia will represent USD5.1bn in demand, or 32% of the global USD16.1bn market in 2002, RHK said. Europe will represent USD4.6bn (28%). North America, which controlled 54% of the global market as recently as the year 2000, will represent just USD4.3bn (27%).

The so-called "Rest of the World" sector, including Latin America and Africa, would represent USD1.5bn (9%). The submarine market, which RHK tracks independently from regional markets, will represent USD600m in sales, or 4% of the global market.

RHK forecasts that both Europe and Asia will dominate world optical network markets for the forseeable future.

From 2003 to 2005, RHK forecasts, the North American market will fail to exceed 26% of the total world market. During the same time frame, however, Europe is expected to command 27% market share. Asia will sieze 34% market share in 2003-04, RHK predicted.

Overall, the total optical global market will shrink 43% this year to USD16.1bn, from USD28.2bn in 2001, RHK said.

-- Al Furst, Contributing Editor

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