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WDM Market Growing Fast in 2Q

August 29, 2014

WDM Market Growing Fast in 2Q

By Daniel Brecht
Contributing Writer

The need for better and faster transmission of voice, data and video signals is increasing exponentially as more and more information is shared in real time. Connections between millions of users for personal, and especially business purposes, are becoming more complex and technology is striving to improve the quality of the transactions and give users quicker access to resources.

In order to meet these growing demands, network managers are relying more and more on the use of dark fiber optics for their consistency, fast transmission rates and the quality of signal transmitted. Laying out an increasing number of cables to meet the faster growing needs of users, however, would be impractical and highly expensive. Thanks to WDM technology, however, network managers have the option to multiply their data processing without higher infrastructure costs.

Wavelength division multiplexer or WDM is a technology used to carry a number of signals using a single optical fiber, thanks to the use of laser light at different wavelength; this can effectively multiply the carrying capacity of cables and offer the advantage of enabling also bi-directional communication.

The WDM technology has given an additional boost to the already active fiber optic market, and the market of wavelength division multiplexer is going strong and growing in 2014, as fiber moves deeper into Gigabit Passive Optical Networking (GPON).

According to Dell’Oro group, the WDM market has grown 10 percent year-over-year in FY14 2Q and has reached a record $2.6 billion.

The increase has affected both sectors of the market: the long haul and the metro. The long haul WDM technology market, in particular, has grown by 18 percent, thanks also to dense wavelength division multiplexers (DWDM) that can now effectively reach longer distances with high quality transmission. DWDM effectively allows data from different sources to travel together on a single fiber; up to 80 different wavelengths can travel together and carry different time division multiplexed (TDM) signals.

The metropolitan portion of the WDM market is also growing though at a slower rate, In fact, the y-o-y revenue growth is currently set at 4 percent according to Dell’ (News - Alert)Oro’s findings. 

Jimmy Yu, Dell’Oro Vice President of Optical Transport research, reports that the WDM market growth is not recent, and this is actually the eighteenth quarter that reports an increase. The growth is proving strong and steady, as in twelve of the eighteen quarters the increase was double digits. Yu said he believes that a number of factors are coming into play; “the most significant of which is the global adoption and penetration of 100 Gbps wavelengths in long haul applications.” This technical improvement is also the reason for the faster growth of the WDM long-haul market compared to the metro market.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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