Optical fibre future looks bright

Friday, 25 July, 2008

A recent report from Ovum Research analysing the current status, as well as the future, of optical fibre stated that, at the end of 2007, nearly 29 million subscribers worldwide were connected with fibre infrastructure, mostly via FTTH (fibre-to-the-home) or FTTB (fibre-to-the-building).

“The growth is expected to continue at a very fast pace with the number of fibre subscribers expected to grow to over 100 million by the end of 2012”, said Lynn Hutcheson, vice president of Ovum’s Communications Components division. “Today, fibre broadband comprises 7.5% of all broadband users and is expected to be 16% of all broadband users by 2012.”

Two fundamental fibre architectures are being deployed in today’s access networks: point-to-multipoint, commonly referred to as ‘PON’ (passive optical networks) and point-to-point or P2P, referred to as ‘active ethernet’.

PON networks have a single fibre that runs from the central office to deep in the network and usually terminates at a splitter cabinet, and from there, short fibre runs connect each of the homes. In contrast, the P2P architecture has a single fibre run all the way from the central office to the home.

Both architectures are being deployed globally, with P2P currently outpacing PON installations. It is expected, however, that by 2012, PON will catch up to P2P, after which P2P is expected to decline and PON to grow and eventually dominate. The PON market worldwide is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15% between 2005 and 2012.


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