State of the Optical Communications Industry 10 Years After the Internet Bubble
Investments in optical communication technologies peaked in 1999-2000 and declined sharply in 2001-2003 as the internet and telecom markets crashed. This downturn was devastating for majority of the optical communications vendors, with just a few players emerging from the rubble. 10 years later this industry is tested once again, this time by the global recession. The industry is well prepared to navigate through this downturn, but it will certainly impact technology and business trends.
The current recession, started by financial and housing crisis in the U.S., also indicates that the U.S. dominance of the global economy is withering and the world is transforming into a multipolar system.The new economic structure will be characterized by a more balanced power of leading economies, including Europe, Japan and China, as well as India, Brazil, Russia and the Middle East. Connectivity in such a multipolar system will become even more essential than it is now, clearly benefiting the networking industry, including the optical transceiver market.
LightCounting forecasts that worldwide sales of optical transceivers will experience low single digit decline in 2009 with a meager recovery in 2010. Accelerated market growth during 2011-2012 will be primarily driven by deployment of high-data-rate transceivers (10, 40 and 100-Gbps) in telecom, enterprise, and storage networks. Focus on active optical cables and other power efficient optical interfaces are likely to dominate the technology development.