The competitive landscape and economic condition of telecommunications carriers have delayed the market for tunable lasers, tunable filters, and wavelength converters, despite improvements in laser performance and reduced manufacturing costs. A new report from market researcher Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, CA) says "device manufacturers will have to 'fine-tune' their wavelength-agile products to the particular economic and technical requirements of distinct applications in order to succeed in a period of carrier malaise."
The market for tunable lasers, tunable filters, and wavelength converters is expected to reach $1 billion by 2005. Today, wavelength-agile devices are used primarily for test and measurement applications, but new applications are beginning to emerge. According to Strategies Unlimited, wavelength-agile devices help address the following key challenges facing network operators and equipment providers: Reduce carriers' inventory of spare line cards; lower operating costs by introducing 1:N channel protection schemes; reduce manufacturers' in-process inventories; allow dynamic provisioning with optical add/drop; provide for wavelength conversion in photonic crossconnects; monitor optical channels; facilitate optical packet switching.
Strategies Unlimited reports that unscheduled private placements and retrenchment are "signs of the times" within such pre-public ventures as Agility Communications and Bandwidth 9 as well as established vendors, including Alcatel Optronics, Agere, and Fujitsu. All companies in this space, particularly the early-stage startups like ChiLight Technologies, Fiberspace, and Princeton Optronics, will require tight coordination of R&D, business development, and production activities to succeed.
For more about the report, "Tunable Lasers, Tunable Filters, Wavelength Converters: Applications and Markets, 2001-2005," call 650-941-3438 or visit www.strategies-u.com.