Dell'Oro cautiously upbeat on 5-year optical network hardware market

July 29, 2021
While Dell'Oro Group still believes the market will grow to to approach $18 billion over next five years, its analysts have changed their minds slightly on how that number will be reached.

By STEPHEN HARDY -- Dell’Oro Group tweaked its Optical Transport 5-Year Forecast Report this month.

While it continues to believe the optical network hardware market will grow for the next five years, to approach $18 billion, the market research firm’s analysts have changed their minds slightly on how that number will be reached.

The advent of coherent 400ZR pluggable transceivers will have a slightly more negative effect on WDM metro systems spending than Dell’Oro believed previously, for example. Sales of such optical transceivers should become material next year, the analysts predict, particularly to internet content providers.

Looking forward, Dell’Oro expects the success of 400ZR (and its variants) will make 800ZR-type optical modules a hit later in the forecast period. Dell’Oro expects annual sales of ZR pluggable optics in general to exceed $500 million by 2025.

Of course, 800G line cards are available now. Dell’Oro notes that such line cards have already gained strong traction – but may not offer enough horsepower to keep pace with optical network requirements during the entire forecast period. Therefore, Dell’Oro expects that the market will welcome a higher transmission rate, which the analysts predict will be 1.2 Tbps.

Line cards that can support such transmission rates could enter the market as soon as 2023, according to Dell’Oro. The demand for the greatest transmission rates available will mean a third of all coherent wavelength shipments in 2025 will be for 800 Gbps or greater, Dell’Oro concludes.

Dell’Oro’s Optical Transport 5-Year Forecast Report covers the optical transport market with tables that detail manufacturers’ revenue, average selling prices, unit shipments, and wavelength shipments (by speed up to 1.2 Tbps).

The report tracks DWDM long haul, WDM metro, multiservice multiplexers (SONET/SDH), optical switch, optical packet platforms, data center interconnect (metro and long haul), and disaggregated WDM.

Learn more at

STEPHEN HARDY is Editorial Director and Associate Publisher of CI&M's Endeavor Business Media co-brand, Lightwave.

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