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Communications market new opportunities: 100G optical modules and fiber optic cables

4/29/15  |  Industry News

Optical communication is the physical basis of the entire Internet economy. The beginning of the century, the Internet bubble crisis, the optical communication industry closely related also suffered heavy losses, optical communications giant great loss of strength, Nortel, Lucent since almost brought to its knees. That time foreign optical communications giants are mostly vertically integrated development model, from device to device chips are able to completely independent research and design. After the bubble crisis, in order to preserve the core competitiveness, equipment manufacturers have stripped optical components businesses to form an independent company, or sold to independent manufacturers of optical devices, optical fiber business has been stripped. Optical Communication born light system equipment - fiber-optic cable - optical devices - optical chips complete industrial ecology.

Time flies, the passage of time. Over the past ten years, the Internet industry has long been regime change, the mobile Internet era is approaching. With the rise of Chinese manufacturers, optical communications industry has been restructured global footprint, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, ZTE, Alcatel-Lucent and other equipment manufacturers to become the industry leader in optical communications. However, with shrinking profit margins, equipment manufacturers of optical communication technology and the rapid evolution of business in recent years began to re-set foot in optical components business, optical fiber and cable manufacturers have upstream and downstream development, increasing industrial chain competition. In tense situations, new market opportunities have been born.

Downstream Game: 100G optical modules

This year, led by the three major telecom operators in China, the world ushered in the 100G construction boom. Last year, China Telecom and China Mobile has conducted a "history of the largest Central Purchasing 100G board" total more than 12,000, this year has entered a peak period of deployment. Elsewhere in the world, 100G optical communication systems have been or before or after, large or small, began commercial deployment.

"Troops and horses, forage ahead." Horses is the operator's network, forage is a variety of optical equipment, fiber optic cable and optical devices downstream, as well as the bottom of the optical chip. There is no doubt that the core of the system equipment is the staple food, but in the fierce competition in the market, equipment manufacturers for supply guarantees and profit-seeking purpose, tentacles deep into the optical device level. Between equipment manufacturers and component vendors, forming a delicate competing relationship.

Wei Leping has said, according to China Telecom Computing, a typical 80 × 100G WDM system, optical domain costs about 75%, while the cost in the optical domain, optical devices accounted for 90%, equivalent to the total accounting for about 70%; a 100G core routers, optical device costs about 60%. In early 2012, Cisco spent $ 271 million acquisition of the silicon photonics company Lightwire, and soon developed a 100G CPAK optical modules. Cisco's acquisition of logic, one CAPK earlier than CFP2 optical module business, Cisco Systems equipment to ensure competitiveness; the second is through the optical module confession, improve profit system.

In China, Huawei spare no effort to develop high-end optical module technology, according to a senior industry analysts, Huawei total investment of high-end optical module over 300 million US dollars, including the 100G optical chip, TO, TOSA / ROSA, and all other devices. Many industry insiders said that Huawei's 100G client Hass has completely mastered side optical module technology, and to achieve product section confession. ZTE's high-end optical module concrete progress is less clear, but its high-speed optical module product line out of some employees founded the company, and soon developed a 100G optical modules, visible ZTE's strength in this area.

Equipment manufacturers vigorously to expand the high-end optical components, optical devices for Finisar and other vendors, certainly not a good news. OVUM optical communications chief analyst Daryl Inniss represented on C114, equipment manufacturers will squeeze the device's market space, but in the pressure of market competition imposed by equipment manufacturers, optical devices are also accelerate the development of new technologies, the formation of difference advantage equipment manufacturers . Because Cisco, Huawei and other equipment manufacturers have a greater right to speak, anyway, this will be a very difficult process.

Thus, on the one hand, optical modules for Cisco claims CPAK faster commercial device manufacturers to speed up efforts to develop CFP2 optical modules, and complete the definition CFP4 standard in April of this year, trying to form a competitive advantage for CPAK standards, greater The right to speak. A leader in optical components and also accelerate the development of 400G optical modules even 1T early release future competitive pressures.

On the other hand, the rapid growth of Internet traffic promote the arrival of the era of big data, the Internet company building backbones and data centers, and even access network, you need to purchase a large number of optical communication products, optical communications industry and Internet industry first from business level intersection occurs, leading to a new market opportunity. According Lightreading analysis, this year's overall optical networking market contraction, but purchase demand from Internet companies to maintain a rapid growth.

Many optical device manufacturers have to enter the data center, Internet companies in emerging markets and new ways, destroyed equipment manufacturers monopoly, component vendors can bypass equipment manufacturers direct access to the Internet company's purchase, and have more opportunities to expand the high-end light module market. Internationally, Finisar in the data center market was a great success in China, many Chinese manufacturers, as the data center is the most important market opportunity, to put more resources into this area. Cisco's acquisition of Wall Street came Finisar, whose logic is because Finisar has become Cisco's data center bypassing independent suppliers can get by acquiring a larger market share.

The whole industry competition: Fiber optic cable

History of the development of domestic optical fiber and cable industry chain, mostly from copper to fiber, from fiber optic cable to fiber, from fiber to an optical fiber preform process. In the past ten years, the technical challenges facing the Chinese optical fiber and cable manufacturers greater than the market challenge over the next decade, the pressure is still technically challenging, but the pressure will be greater market challenges.

Over the past ten years, the situation in China's optical fiber and cable manufacturers face is: when the industry boom, development particularly fast; when the industry downturn, are facing difficulties and even crises. Behind this phenomenon is reflected, it is a serious lack of core technology Chinese fiber industry. For example, in March 2012 earthquake in Japan, resulting in Shin-Etsu chemical light stick manufacturers cut, Chinese fiber manufacturers due to inability of production for light bar, along with an awkward dilemma.

2012 Chinese fiber manufacturers after bitter experience, to invest heavily in research and development of optical fiber preform, technology transfer work, so far, there have been about ten manufacturers mastered the optical fiber preform manufacturing techniques, the light rod production capacity to meet domestic demand for fiber drawing. Although this year China launched anti-dumping light bar for the industry to recognize that there is a large gap between the light bar technology from abroad, but in general, the prospects for technological development can be expected, a major breakthrough in just a matter of time.

Judging from the market in 2009, China issued 3G licenses, China set off a new round of network construction boom. The rapid rise of Chinese optical fiber and cable manufacturers after years of silence, have appeared several times sales growth in 2013, the domestic fiber optic cable has accounted for more than 70% market share, the overall annual production capacity of up to 250 million core km, to meet the needs of the world . Market demand to stimulate serious excess capacity, resulting in domestic fiber optic cable manufacturers face severe capacity to digest the crisis.

In this wave of the Great Leap Forward, a small cable plants be phased out, market share rapidly concentrated, led by several major manufacturers have formed a light bar - the fiber - optic cable the whole industry chain competitive advantage, and will also extend the advantage to ODN. History of the largest fiber optic cable recently concluded Central Purchasing China Mobile to reduce the bid list, according to industry sources, China Telecom and China Unicom will also follow suit, which will further exacerbate the concentration of optical fiber and cable market.

Optical fiber and cable companies expand downstream market ODN, ODN and traditional manufacturers in direct competition, which is another new topic. Optical fiber and cable industry chain itself, has become a highly competitive industry chain development trend, competition among major manufacturers is the economies of scale and cost control. Coupled with the market demand will not decline in the next few years, resulting in fiber capacity expansion can not stop the momentum. If excess capacity can not be digested, the industry is bound to lead to vicious competition.

New market opportunities to ease this situation. From 2012, the Chinese optical fiber and cable manufacturers have to implement the "going out" strategy, digest excess capacity through the international market. The most radical is the implementation of this strategy prosper optoelectronics, the company's "555 international strategy", to have more than 50% of the international market in the coming years, more than 50% above and 50% international capital international talents . When the bubble crisis in 2000, the overcapacity of Chinese manufacturers no strength to go out and sit back and domestic markets; as technology advances, the next decade has been the strength of Chinese manufacturers to expand the international market, with foreign companies to compete on the same stage, greater development.

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 communication, 100G optical module, fiber optical cable

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