Reduced spending in China squeezes broadband equipment market

Global spending on DSL, PON, and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) equipment declined 22% from the fourth quarter of 2011 (4Q11) to the first quarter of 2012 (1Q12), to $1.8 billion, according to the latest report from market research firm Infonetics Research.

May 29th, 2012

Global spending on DSL, PON, and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) equipment declined 22% from the fourth quarter of 2011 (4Q11) to the first quarter of 2012 (1Q12), to $1.8 billion, according to the latest report from market research firm Infonetics Research.

The market research firm previously reported a similar decline in optical network hardware spending for the quarter (see "Infonetics: Optical network spending slips 23% in 1Q12").

"In addition to seeing a first-quarter lull as we often do in the worldwide broadband aggregation market, there was a big 43% drop in Ethernet PON spending in China that drove spending in Asia down a full third this quarter, despite healthy increases in Japan and the rest of Asia Pacific," explained Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and video at Infonetics. "The drop in China is due mainly to a shift to FTTH this year and coming off the heels of a record previous quarter. Another more serious drag on the overall market was a third consecutive quarter of DSL revenue declines in EMEA, where access network upgrade projects have stalled because of the unstable economic environment."

Despite a 40% sequential decline in broadband aggregation equipment revenue in 1Q12 from the previous quarter, Huawei maintains the lead in terms of worldwide revenues (albeit with significantly less share), followed by ZTE and Alcatel-Lucent.

Only a handful of broadband aggregation equipment vendors managed to increase their revenue in 1Q12, including many of the top players in Japan: Fujitsu, O.F. Networks, and NEC.

EPON spending in Japan increased 11% in 1Q12 from 4Q11, as NTT and KDDI are in the middle of upgrading their FTTB+VDSL deployments to FTTH and are beginning to replace fully depreciated EPON gear from 2004 and 2005.

In North America, where Verizon’s FiOS and AT&T’s U-Verse rollouts are slowing, the combined PON, DSL, and FTTH equipment markets saw 21% declines in 1Q12

While the Latin American market remains fiercely competitive, operators spent 1Q12 absorbing the new capacity they had purchased in 4Q11, when record spending was recorded in the region.

The quarterly PON, FTTH, and DSL Aggregation Equipment and Subscribers market share and forecast report from Infonetics analyzes the fixed broadband access market and the vendors within it, providing worldwide and regional market size, market share, analysis, and forecasts through 2015. Revenue and ports are tracked for the following equipment: DSL aggregation (MSAPs, next gen DLCs, ATM and IP DSLAMs), BPON, 1.25G/2.5G EPON, 2.5G GPON, 10G EPON, 10G GPON, and Ethernet FTTH (CPE and service provider equipment). The report also tracks DSL subscribers by type (ADSL/ADSL2+, VDSL/VDSL2, G.SHDSL).

For more information on FTTx/access systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

More in Market Research