WDM demand remains in growth mode in 2017: Dell’Oro

While optical component and subsystem vendors have lamented a slowdown in demand from China during the first quarter of 2017, WDM systems sales continued to grow, according to a recently published report from Dell'Oro Group. WDM equipment sales grew 4% year-on-year and should finish 2017 up 8% to reach $12 billion, the market research firm states.

While optical component and subsystem vendors have lamented a slowdown in demand from China during the first quarter of 2017, WDM systems sales continued to grow, according to a recently published report from Dell'Oro Group. WDM equipment sales grew 4% year-on-year and should finish 2017 up 8% to reach $12 billion, the market research firm states.

"We do not see a slowdown in WDM demand this year," said Jimmy Yu, vice president at Dell'Oro Group. "Rather, we believe this will be another great year for WDM equipment, and will mark the eighth consecutive year of market expansion. The drivers for this year's growth will likely be the same as last year – China, data center interconnect, and adoption of coherent wavelengths. The only exception to last year may be that the vast majority of growth will come from WDM metro equipment instead of DWDM long-haul equipment."

Illustrating Yu's beliefs, Dell'Oro reports that coherent line card shipments of 100 Gbps and higher speed wavelengths, such as 200 Gbps, grew nearly 25% over the year-ago quarter during the first three months of this year. Sales for data center interconnect grew more than 20% year-over-year, with direct sales to internet content providers driving most of the revenue.

Five vendors captured nearly 75% of the WDM market in the first quarter of 2017: Huawei, Ciena, ZTE, Nokia, and Infinera (in order of market share).

The Dell'Oro Group "Optical Transport Quarterly Report" provides tables covering manufacturers' revenue, average selling prices, unit shipments (by speed, including 40 Gbps, 100 Gbps, and >100 Gbps). The report tracks DWDM long-haul terrestrial, WDM metro, multiservice multiplexers (SONET/SDH), optical switches, optical packet platforms, and data center interconnect (metro and long haul).

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