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Optical technology advances are allowing greater programmability, higher-speed optics, and more flexible purpose-built products that are lowering the cost per bit.


  • In 2018, the single-channel programmable 400G optics market will quickly expand as new solutions reduce cost and power requirements per bit.
  • Purpose-built solutions are expanding outside of the metro data center into new areas as enterprises and some service providers look for ways to deliver the most flexible network for the lowest cost per bit, but integrated solutions will still dominate.
  • 5G architecture and deep-fiber requirements will begin to impact the optical network in the second half of 2018, and vendors need to address this opportunity or be left behind.

Features and Benefits

  • Identifies why 400G and being first to market is important.
  • Identifies how purpose-built DCI applications are moving beyond metro data center interconnect.

Key questions answered

  • What are the three key trends impacting the optical market in 2018?
  • Who is currently leading in share in the high-speed optical market?
  • What are some of the key issues impacting the technology choices for 5G transport?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Success requires innovation and scale

March for higher-speed optics continues

  • Programmable and 400G-capable optics
  • Future is 100G and 400G coherent solutions
  • Scale is important

Purpose-built solutions are expanding outside of the metro data center

  • Innovation in DCI purpose-built products
  • ICPs drive innovation in disaggregation

5G will drive changes in metro networks

  • 5G implications
  • 5G transport will come into focus


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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