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Fiber optic communication systems have revolutionized the telecommunications industry and are becoming the future of network and telecom. In China, local communication service providers are expected to hike investments in infrastructure upgrades, with the development of broadband infrastructure poised to boost demand for fiber optic test equipment (FOTE). Moreover, the need for last mile and access networks has been growing. Such factors are expected to boost the Chinese FOTE market.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Fiber Optic Test Equipment Market in China, finds that the market earned revenues of $81.1 million in 2012 and estimates this to reach $123.9 million in 2019. The product segments covered include optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR), optical light source (OLS), optical power meter (OPM), optical loss test set (OLTS), remote fiber test systems (RFTS), and optical spectrum analyzer (OSA).
The need for greater bandwidth and the deployment of fiber to the X (FTTX) are the main market growth drivers for the Chinese FOTE market, which will register steady growth over the next four-to-five years.
"The main factor driving FOTE is the demand for high performance and faster data transfer," noted Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Wei Wei. "The rising use of digital technologies, especially high-definition electronic products, requires greater bandwidth for both upstream and downstream applications. Data transfer through fiber optic cables is more cost-effective. This trend, therefore, offers significant opportunities to test vendors."
There is an ever-increasing demand for FTTX technology due to a greater number of multimedia and business services. Local operators in China are actively introducing FTTX, which utilizes Ethernet technology in its key Ethernet Passive Optical Network (EPON) and Gigabit PON (GPON) devices. The expanded deployment of FTTX is poised to fuel demand for FOTE.
Despite optimistic projections, the lack of skilled technicians to keep pace with changes in FTTX technologies threatens the pace of market development. Moreover, high initial investment and maintenance costs hinder market prospects. The initial outlay required to replace legacy non-fiber cables with an entire fiber cable infrastructure is an obstacle for service providers, especially in rural areas.
Price pressures represent another area of concern. Due to the increasing price-performance ratio of instruments, test equipment vendors are competing to offer lower prices, while keeping the performance of their products at the highest level. In addition, vendors are offering specialized customer service and technical support to ensure quality of service.
"Due to infrastructure upgrades and the growth in smartphone sales, hand-held test instruments, including OTDR, OLS, OPM and RFTS, are expected to gain more market share going forward," concludes Wei. "Vendors are consistently investing in R&D to keep pace with technological advancements. There will be greater competition from local vendors, especially in the installation and maintenance of FOTE."
Fiber Optic Test Equipment Market in China is part of the Test & Measurement Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: The Chinese Electromagnetic Compatibility Test Equipment and Services, Asia-Pacific General Purpose Test Equipment, Global Data Acquisition Hardware and Software, Global Bit Error Rate Tester Market, and Global Over-the-top Video Test and Monitoring, among others. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.