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October 24, 2006

Infonetics Predicts Optical Networking Equipment Market Will Reach $3 Billion by 2009

By Patrick Barnard, Senior Web Editor, TMCnet

Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) deployments are increasing rapidly, due to the ever-increasing demand for next generation services and the corresponding need for additional bandwidth. According to a recent report from Infonetics Research Inc., this continuing trend will boost the global sales of EPON, GPON and BPON equipment to $3 billion in 2009 - an increase of 431 percent from 2005.

According to the market research firm’s findings the number of PON subscribers worldwide will to continue to swell from 4.1 million in 2005 to 38 million in 2009. This growth comes after the number of PON subscribers more than doubled between 2004 and 2005.

“The big trend we’re seeing with PON is that service providers are really committed to FTTH, as reflected by the recent increase in longer-term contracts being initiated by larger RBOCs and PTTs,” said Jeff Heynen, an analyst at Infonetics.

The main reason for this rapid growth is the fact that both businesses and residential broadband customers are consuming increasing amounts of bandwidth, as they gravitate to more bandwidth-intensive next generation applicationsm such as VoIP, IPTV (News - Alert), Video-on-Demand and high definition television. Adding to this is the increasing use of the Internet for video and music downloads.

“Video via RF overlay and IPTV, gaming, and other high bandwidth applications continue to drive demand for PON and Ethernet FTTH equipment all over the world,” Heynen said.

The report tracks BPON, EPON, and GPON OLT and ONT equipment used in FTTH and FTTB applications; Ethernet switches used in FTTH applications; EADs; and PON, FTTH and IPTV subscribers. It finds that in 2005, 2.2 million PON ports were shipped worldwide - a number is forecast to jump to 13.4 million by 2009. The report also finds that the burgeoning Ethernet Access Device (EAD) segment more than quadrupled between 2004 and 2005 and is forecast to jump from $91 million in 2005 to almost $685 million in 2009.

The report predicts that PON and Ethernet FTTH subscribers will grow to more than 38 million in 2009, 85 percent of which will be PON-based, 15 percent Ethernet-based. This is up significantly from the approximately 4 million customers measured in 2005. It also predicts that percent by 2009, EMEA and CALA will gain significant market share, while Asia-Pacific’s share will drop and North America will remain stable.

For more information about Infonetics Research Inc., visit


Patrick Barnard is Associate Editor for TMCnet and a columnist covering the telecom industry. To see more of his articles, please visit Patrick Barnard’s columnist page.

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