Fiber-optic test equipment analyst scopes handheld OTDR market

ElectroniCast Consultants' most recent forecast reports that the handheld OTDR market reached $282 million in 2013. 

ElectroniCast Consultants, a market researcher and technology analyst for the fiber-optic telecommunications industry, has announced the release of an extensive forecast report covering the worldwide market for handheld OTDRs and supplementary (add-on) OTDR modules used in handheld modular devices used in finer optical test/measurement applications.

“Last year the telecommunications application held over 75% of worldwide market share of hand-held OTDR device units and OTDR modules used in hand-held test units; however, the fastest annual growth will be in Private Enterprise Networks,” reveals Stephen Montgomery, the director of the ElectroniCast market study.

ElectroniCast says the global consumption value of handheld OTDR devices (dedicated-handheld or modular solutions) and OTDR modules in 2013 was $282.2 million, up from $259.4 million in 2012. The consumption value is forecast to increase at a double-digit rate throughout the 2013-2018 timeframe, with strong rising quantity growth partially offset by a decline of average prices.

“The use of OTDRs for the deployment and maintenance of optical fiber in Private Enterprise networks is forecast to increase at nearly 30% per year, as fiber optic testing within LANs and data centers increase, driven by critical high-speed data applications,” Montgomery adds.

See also: Fiber-optic testing: Keeping it simple in the field

An Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) is an instrument used to characterize an optical fiber. OTDRs are used as a troubleshooting device to find faults in the optical fiber link. The ElectroniCast market study is segmented into the following major product categories: Handheld OTDR devices, including pre-installed (initial) capability (embedded/dedicated or module) -- this category is limited to portable (compact/handheld) optical test units/devices that are initially purchased for the main purpose of the OTDR function; and supplementary OTDR modules, which can be added-on (plug into) existing handheld optical test modular units (devices).

Hand-held OTDR devices with the initial capability (embedded/dedicated or module) to perform OTDR test functions are forecast to maintain the lead in terms of relative market share versus add-on supplementary OTDR modules used in optical test modular units (devices); however, the trend of buying add-on OTDR modules for existing platforms (fiber optic test units) is forecast to continue at an impressive annual growth rate of 20.9 percent (2013 to 2018).

According to the report, North America, in 2013, represented a 39 percent market share of worldwide consumption of hand-held OTDRs and OTDR modules used in the hand-held devices. The North American market share is forecast to decrease in market share by the year 2018; however, increase substantially in value. Europe's consumption value is forecast to increase slightly faster annual percentage rate than North America during the 2013-2018 timeframe.

Related product: OTDR includes power meter, light source, visual fault locator capabilities

Helped along substantially by impressive growth in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Asia Pacific region (APAC) is forecast increase to the leadership position in 2017, before slipping to 2nd-place in 2018, due to product saturation in the China. The Rest of the World region (including Central/South America, Africa and Middle East) stimulated by favorable national economic policies and the trend toward telecom liberalization also is forecast with the strongest annual growth versus the other regions.

The ElectroniCast Handheld OTDR Market Forecast is available immediately, for $4,400. For detailed information on this report or other services provided by ElectroniCast, contact Theresa Hosking, Marketing/Sales; (Telephone/USA: 831-708-2381).

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