For the third consecutive quarter, global sales of fiber optic equipment have declined. In the third quarter of 2012, there was in fact a 7.4-percent decrease in the now 3.1-billion market.
Research firm Infonetics (News - Alert) identified the weakest region as North America, which actually saw a decline of 19.6 percent and revenue of $865 million.
Although the continuous decline can hardly be seen as a positive trend, there is actually good news. The decline seems to have slowed to at least half of what it was at the beginning of 2012, and appears to be leveling off.
Better news might result from the analysis of Q4 results, once available; the last quarter of the year normally sees an increase in spending by consumers, but the prospects at the moment don’t seem encouraging.
A remedy might be for major companies to invest in advanced technologies to provide better service and encourage market growth. According to Investor’s Business Daily, AT&T (News - Alert) is strategically planning major long-term investments to provide the company with revenue increases within the next three years.
AT&T recently announced a $14-billion investment in Project Velocity IP, a plan to improve the U-Verse system currently offered to residential customers. The project includes not only improving availability (from 24.5 million homes served to over 33 million), but also quadrupling broadband speed to 100Mbps.
This would allow AT&T to compete with cable companies like Comcast (News - Alert) and Time Warner Cable.
AT&T will also invest $6 billion in the next three years to modernize its network now that technology that expands the capacity of networks, like wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM), is on demand.
WDM allows several optical signals of different wavelengths to run in a single optical fiber.
Investing in technology is likely the answer to the decline and the only chance this market might have to regain its position in the global economy.
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Edited by Braden Becker