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Fiber Optic Cable Market: Opportunities, Challenges and Technological Developments

The forecasted global fiber optic market 2022-2030

Global Undersea Fiber Optic Cables

Global Underwater Fiber Optic

Fiber optic transmission

fiber optic conductor

With the development of communication technologies, the demand for fiber optic cables keeps growing. This market is facing great opportunities and challenges.

LOS ANGELES, USA, Sept. 15, 2022 / — Fiber optic cable as a new generation of transmission medium has the advantages of large transmission capacity, low fading, long transmission distance, light weight, no electromagnetic interference, etc. At present, optical fiber is gradually becoming the main part of the communication network.

The demand for fiber optic cables continues to grow with the development of communication technologies in various fields such as global internet, 5G, IoT and military.

Currently, the global fiber optic cable is in short supply. And the price of aerial fiber rose 70% from its all-time low in March 2021, from $3.7 to $6.3 per kilometer. The global fiber optic market is expected to reach USD 11.18 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 9.3% during the forecast period.

Development of optical communication technology

The future development of optical communication technology revolves closely around performance improvements and cost savings. One of the trends in fiber optic communication is the evolution of all optical networks.

Any optical network means that all transmission and switching processes of the network are realized through fiber optic cables. Because it is not necessary to realize the electrical-optical and optical-electrical conversion in the middle of the communication lines, it can greatly improve the network speed. As the data shows, the copper access bandwidth is only 512Kbps, but the broadband all-optical network bandwidth can reach 50-100Mbps.

Another trend in fiber optic communications is the flattening of networks. The flattened transmission network will change from a tree architecture to a MESH architecture. This will not only reduce the number of devices and material costs, but also reduce electricity expenses as well as labor investment.

If the network is to be further simplified, support for advanced operation and maintenance (O&M) technology should be introduced. By introducing AI and big data technology, operators can realize intelligent operation of the entire transmission network. When issues arise, AI can provide rapid response and link planning to reduce the duration of service disruptions.

Internet Development Drives Rising Demand for Fiber Optic Cables

Internet services are increasingly developed and people’s demand for high-traffic and high-speed networks is increasing. With the continuous construction of IoT, cloud computing and mobile communication networks, etc., the fiber optic cable industry will experience broader development opportunities.

In the fixed broadband realm, fiber optic Ethernet is currently available at standard speeds of 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps. The development of Ethernet technology has laid a solid foundation for the application of fiber optic cable in fixed broadband.

In the 5G space, according to the GSMA, operators worldwide will invest a total of $700 billion in 5G networks from 2021 to 2025. 1.8 billion 5G connections will be available by the end of 2025.

5G base stations will use the UDN network to achieve basic coverage. As 5G base stations use medium and high frequency resources, the coverage area of ​​a single station will be smaller and the number of base stations will increase compared to 4G. The multiplication of the number of base stations will create a strong demand for fiber optic lines for 5G carrier networks.

Undersea fiber optic cable contributes to global interconnection

Undersea fiber optic cables are the most important infrastructure of the digital age. And they occupy an important place in international communications. To date, a total of 1.2 million kilometers of submarine fiber optic lines have been deployed worldwide.

Global integration and the rise of the digital economy have spurred rapid growth in international demand for bandwidth. Besides traditional cable manufacturers and operators, in recent years, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and other Internet giants have also entered the submarine fiber optic cable market. This is mainly because the popularity of the Internet has given rise to an ever-increasing demand for huge amounts of data transmission.

The global undersea fiber optic market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.04% from 2021 to 2025, with an estimated size growth of over $3.8 billion during the period.

FTTx development goals promote access to fiber optics

According to Bridge Market Research, the FTTx (fiber to the x) market will grow at a CAGR of 8.62% during the period 2022-2029. The market is expected to reach 1.34 billion by 2029.

North America is expected to dominate the FTTx market owing to the growing demand for passive optical networks in the region. Asia-Pacific will see the highest growth as governments push for more fiber broadband investment.

The construction of fiber optic networks in European countries is relatively low. However, Germany Telecom has announced that it will strive to reach 10 million fiber-optic homes by 2024. Spain has launched the Digital Spain 2025 plan to promote 100% 100 Mbps broadband penetration. The Italian government plans to spend 6.7 billion euros to expand its broadband network.

According to CRU forecasts, the demand for fiber optic cables in emerging markets will grow at a CAGR of 5% to 6% between 2022 and 2026. And FTTH penetration in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa is expected to reach 36% by 2026.

The Challenges of Fiber Optic Cable Development

The price, lifetime, capacity and maintenance are hindering the development of the fiber optic industry. Although there is great potential for the development of aerial fiber optic cable, the fiber optic market is very competitive. And the political and technical aspects face uncertainties. There are still risks in the development process.

At the same time, the service life of optical fiber cable products such as ADSS and OPGW is limited, and maintenance is difficult. These are the inevitable pain points of the development of the industry.

Severe overcapacity in optical rods leads to fierce price competition. As the price of upstream raw materials rises, putting formerly fiber optic manufacturers in a difficult situation.

The advancement of optical fiber manufacturing technology, the research and development of new optical fiber products, and intelligent production can help solve the challenges facing the development of optical fiber cables to some extent.

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