The market intelligence concerning passive optical LANs (POLs) that came from BSRIA earlier this year may prove to be quite prescient. During an invite-only presentation held in February, BSRIA presented its analysis and outlook on several networking and cabling technology areas. Among them was passive optical LAN, and the presentation included the growth chart we've published this month, on page 36 in our "Infrastructure Insights" column. Prior to that February meeting, BSRIA had already stated that the POL market "will only really take off when a big player or several medium-sized players enter the market with a clear go-to-market strategy, as opposed to a me-too approach ..."
What the organization might not have known was that at virtually the same time it was hosting its invite-only presentation, and in the same venue, network vendor Huawei was announcing its entry into the Association for Passive Optical LAN. While it did so, Huawei demonstrated multiple POL systems. Both BSRIA's meeting and the APOLAN demonstration took place at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, FL while that venue also hosted the Winter BICSI Conference. A little more than a month later, Huawei officially introduced its AgilePOL system.
Just a few weeks after Huawei's introduction of AgilePOL, Nokia announced its entry into the POL market with introduction of a system that incorporates Alcatel-Lucent network equipment. Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia began operating as a single company under the Nokia name early this year.
Before making that announcement in early April, Nokia said, it successfully deployed POL technology for the hospitality industry in Japan with telecommunications operator KDDI.
As we detail on page 36, BSRIA projects that the POL market is going to weigh in at about $75 million this year. From there, it's a matter of how much it grows. Huawei and Nokia are heavyweights, so in that sense, the market's need for a big player has been met, or exceeded. I, for one, will be particularly interested to see how Huawei and Nokia fare with their go-to-market strategies, which BSRIA also noted would be essential for the POL market to take off.
For a technology that's called "passive" optical LAN, things sure are pretty active. And they promise to be so for the foreseeable future.