Europe and Asia overtake NA

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By Al Furst, Contributing Editor, Cannes

North America is no longer the world's largest optical networking market, according to RHK Inc.

In data released at the sixth annual WDM & Metro Optical Networking Conference in Cannes, France, RHK predicts that European and Asian regions will each overtake North America.

Of the EUR16.1bn market in 2002, Asia will represent EUR5.1bn (32%) and Europe EUR4.6bn (28%). North America, which controlled 54% of the global market as recently as the year 2000, will represent just EUR4.3bn (27%). The Rest of the World sector, including Latin America and Africa, will represent EUR1.5bn (9%).

The submarine market, which RHK tracks independently from regional markets, will represent EUR600m in sales (4%).

RHK forecasts that both Europe and Asia will dominate world optical network markets for the foreseeable 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 seize 34% market share in 2003-04, RHK predicted.

Overall, the total optical global market will shrink 43% this year to EUR16.1bn, from EUR28.2bn in 2001, RHK said.

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