APOLAN and partners survey market traction, growth opportunities for passive optical LAN technology

The Association for Passive Optical LAN (APOLAN), an organization driving both education and adoption initiatives for passive optical local area networks (POL) technology, recently announced its work with market research and analysis firms Gartner, Hanover Research and The Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA), with the goal of showcasing “the unprecedented increase in demand and growth opportunities for POL in various market segments.”

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The Association for Passive Optical LAN (APOLAN), an organization driving both education and adoption initiatives for passive optical local area networks (POL) technology, recently announced its work with market research and analysis firms Gartner, Hanover Research and The Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA), with the goal of showcasing “the unprecedented increase in demand and growth opportunities for POL in various market segments.”

The latest BSRIA POL report brings an external and independent view of the global POL market. The research sheds light on the market evolution, the global value of passive and active components, as well as insight into several other market segmentations. This includes naming the most significant advantages of POL, which are cited as: capex/opex savings; the ability to easily scale and be futureproof; the highest level of security; and up to 90 percent space savings capabilities.

Photo: Hanover Research

“BSRIA’s 2015 network cabling market brief cited that POL will experience significant growth, gaining market share and awareness in the LAN market, solidifying its position as a disruptive technology,” says Martin Chiesa, BSRIA senior researcher. “Two years later, we have released the third edition of our POL report and found that POL has evolved faster than our most optimistic expectations.”

In a recent passive optical LAN survey, Hanover Research also found industry perceptions supported this technology shift. In a report commissioned by Tellabs, Hanover’s researchers presented results in the firm’s October 2017 “Passive Optical LAN Survey Analysis.” To better understand the adoption and perception of passive optical LAN technology, the study targeted the following objectives: “to determine the level of awareness among IT professionals with decision influence on equipment, including perceptions and manufacturer awareness; to understand positions of industry awareness and perceptions of POL equipment and services; and to delineate characteristics that shape the market and the rate of adoption of POL.”

According to the Hanover Research report, 88 percent of industry professionals considered POL more appealing than copper-based LANs. Awareness of the technology also appeared to be on the upswing, with 83 percent of respondents saying they have heard of POL technology, and with 44 percent being familiar with details surrounding the technology.

“The findings from the Hanover Research Passive Optical LAN Survey Analysis showcase how the industry perception of POL has evolved very quickly over the last few years,” states John Hoover, Tellabs’ senior product manager and APOLAN board member. “The most appealing benefits driving this growth, according to survey participants, are product quality, reliability, longevity and POL’s centralized management capabilities.”

For its part, Gartner provides additional insight into the challenges and opportunities POL technology has to offer in its recent report, “Does Passive Optical LAN Have a Future in Your Access Network?” According to this report’s synopsis, passive optical LAN technology can be an alternative to the traditional structured cabling and Ethernet network when new LAN cabling infrastructure is needed. Gartner recommends potential deployers consider POL to help reduce building construction costs in situations where there is a need to simplify network operations for greenfield deployments, where there is a lack of local IT staff, where there is a need for long cable runs, and when security is the highest priority.

Alan Bertsch, Qypsys president and APOLAN chairman, concludes, “The findings from these industry experts are a true testament to the technical superiority of POL and the industry’s need to digitally transform now to keep pace with network demands of the future.”

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