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This document identifies and discusses several major trends that will shape the optical networking (ON) market in 2016 and beyond.


  • The growth and nature of traffic is rapidly changing, disrupting how telco networks are being constructed. However, telecom providers and OTT providers have differing views on network architectures.
  • 200G has entered general deployment; next up is single-channel 400G. Optical transmission capacity is growing 10x every four years: 100G was first deployed in 2010.
  • Market power is consolidating among a select few global vendors. It’s getting tougher to compete, and we have seen this trend accelerate through 2015, with a profound impact on the ON market.

Features and Benefits

  • Discusses three trends that will shape the optical networking market in 2016 and beyond
  • Provides recommendations to service and content providers as well as vendors

Key questions answered

  • What are the major trends to watch for in the optical networking market during 2016?
  • What recommended actions should CSPs and vendors be taking to address these important areas?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages
  • Recommendations

Growth and nature of traffic is rapidly changing

  • Key trends driving network evolution
  • Trends are disrupting how telco networks are constructed

Telcos’ versus ICPs’ view of network simplification

  • CSPs tend to prefer convergence at the equipment layer
  • Internet content providers favor disaggregating hardware from software

Industry is already moving past 100G

  • To terabit speeds and beyond

Market power is consolidating to a select few

  • The ON market is strongly influenced by consolidation


  • Further reading
  • Author

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