The global optical networking market will grow at a year-over-year rate of 5 percent through 2019.
So claims market research firm, Ovum, in its optical networking forecast for 2013 to 2019. North America will lead the market growth, with data centre deployments and demand for 100 Gigabit being the main drivers.
The building of data centres drives demand for optical interconnect. "It [data centre operators] is almost a new category of buyer," says Ian Redpath, principal analyst, network infrastructure at Ovum. The segment is growing faster than telco spending on fixed and mobile networks.
"This whole phenomenon of the large data centre operators is more pronounced in North America, and we think that will continue throughout the forecast period," says Redpath.
Demand for 100 Gigabit is coming from several segments: large incumbent operators, cable operators and internet content service providers. "All these entities are buying a technology [100 Gig] that is prime time," says Redpath.
Asia Pacific will be the region with the second largest growth for the forecast period, at 4.4 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
The deployment of optical equipment in China and Japan was down in 2013: China dipped 6 percent while Japan was down a huge 23 percent compared to 2012 market demand.
The underlying trend in China is one of growth, with the optical market valued at US $3 billion. "They just had to have a pause," says Redpath, who points out that the Chinese market has tripled in a relatively short period. "They are now retooling for the next big thing: LTE; it it just a matter of time," he says. The deployment of 100 Gig, by the large three domestic operators, may start by the year end or spill into 2015.