Fiber optic cable use reached $24 billion in 2000, reports ElectroniCast

According to the most recent optical communication cable study from ElectroniCast, optical fiber will continue to play a critical role in communication network expansion.

According to the most recent optical communication cable study from ElectroniCast, optical fiber will continue to play a critical role in communication network expansion. The optical fiber manufacturing process has evolved to accommodate the exponential increase in data carrying capacity since fiber's introduction. Optimized for various performance requirements, a new generation of fiber is now being introduced approximately every two years to keep pace with the transmission speed of newer optical networking equipment requirements.

"Current generations of fibers are capable of transmitting 80 channels at 10 Gbps per channel with 50 GHz channel spacing over moderate distances. Closer channel spacing, more capacity over longer distances (greater than 1000 km) without regeneration will be typical of future generation fibers. The capacity demand explosion is fueling significant increases in fiber production capacity," according to ElectroniCast Senior Analyst Saba Hailu.

Cablers who lack captive supply of fiber are struggling to meet order commitments from their customers, at times causing delays of up to a year. Large users have multi-year contractual agreements with fiber/cable suppliers to assure on-time deployment. "One major carrier is building their pipes now, but only installed a few strands of the latest fiber, deploying the rest gradually as newer fiber becomes available," Hailu said.

Given this demand, global cable deployment reached $24.4 billion in 2000. The average annual growth rate (AAGR) of cable consumption value will be 10 percent over the next five years, reaching $39.4 billion in 2005. Over the 2005-2010 period overall consumption value will reach $66.1 billion even though sub-ocean cable deployment is expected to decline.

North America led in global cable consumption with 22 percent, or $5.4 billion, in 2000, expanding in value to $10.6 billion by 2005. This acceleration will be driven by the proliferation of private LAN/WAN and local loop networks (metro/access). North America's consumption will increase to 28 percent share, or $18.6 billion, by 2010. Europe's use of fiber optic cable will be $10.5 billion in 2005, increasing in value to $19.8 billion by 2010.

Telecom optical cable usage (terrestrial plus subocean) led with over 80 percent in 2000. Cable TV use will increase nominally to reach $5.34 billion, or 8 percent, in 2010. Relative slow growth is due mainly to video traffic shifting to telco lines, as telcos expand into entertainment video provisioning either by acquiring cable TV operations or by building their own networks.

The "Fiber Optic Cable Global Market Forecast" is immediately available from ElectroniCast. For more information, visit www.electronicast.com.

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