Corning estimates fiber market down 50% in 2002; optical systems down 60%

March 26, 2003
March 26, 2003--Corning estimates that the fiber market was down by about 50% on 2001, and that optical system spending was down by 60%, largely due to a 74% drop in North America.

March 26, 2003--Corning Optical Fiber estimates that the total worldwide fiber market was about 55 million fiber-kilometers in 2002, down about 50% on 2001.

In its annual overview of the fiber and photonics industry, Corning issued the following fiber market assessments:

-- North America, representing 25% of fiber demand, declined by about 65%;
-- Western Europe, representing 10% of demand, declined by about 75%;
-- Japan, representing 30% of demand, declined by nearly 10%;
-- "Other Asia", representing 30% of demand, declined by about 35%;
-- Latin America and "Rest of World", which comprised 5% of demand, declined by about 70%.

When analyzed by application category rather than by geography, estimated rates of decline for 2002 are as follows:

-- Long-haul terrestrial/submarine fiber, representing 10% of demand, declined by 70%;
-- Metro fiber, representing 45% of demand, declined by about 50%;
-- Access fiber, representing 40% of demand, declined by about 45%;
-- Premises fiber, representing 5% of the total worldwide demand, declined by 25%.

Corning expects little change in the worldwide fiber market for 2003.

As for the worldwide market for photonic components and modules, Corning estimates that, after nearly 50% growth in 2000, optical system spending, which includes WDM and SONET/SDH equipment, declined by about 60% in 2002. This was largely due to a 74% decline in optical system spending in North America. Corning expects the DWDM system market will decline a further 15-25%.

Nevertheless, Corning predicts that bandwidth demand will continue to grow at 60-80% annually through 2006. It continues to believe that the world's networks are still in the early stages of a long-term technology substitution from copper to fiber.