Sales of fiber optic test equipment exceeded 1.2 million units in 2018, and is estimated to register a 5.6% Y-o-Y growth in 2019, according to a new study of Future Market Insights (FMI). As cable operators continue to deploy fiber into their networks, fiber optic test equipment have gained vital importance in recent years. There has been a continuous search for fiber optic test equipment that is easy to operate, regardless of the intensity of exposure of cable deployment crews to optical networking.
The study opines that evolution in design & development of fiber optic test equipment continues in line with complicating test issues associated with advancements in the optical networks. Also, automation remains pivotal for fiber optic test equipment market vendors to combat the growing complexity in the optical evaluation. Automation continues to act as a key deployment and execution enabler for technicians, with their application extending to procedure documentation as well as results.
Vendors in the fiber optic test equipment market are adopting modular designs to complement interface flexibility, as these designs allow downloading software into instruments, to better perform tests from remote sources in cloud-based deployments. Portability aspects go hand-in-hand with Modularity-driven efforts of the vendors, enabling technicians to send results to a central facility via the cloud, for trend analysis or later evaluation. Moreover, fiber optic test equipment market vendors are also focusing on simplifying operations for cable operators, by offering system-integrated lower-level test capabilities.
Fiber Optic Test Equipment Market: Optical Light Sources Remain Sought after, OTDRs Gain Remarkable Significance
Sensing varied evaluations and associated complications in the optical networking, vendors in the fiber optic test equipment have introduced various instruments, which range from optical light sources and optical power & loss meters to optical time domain reflectometers (OTDRs). The study estimates nearly 60% volume share of the market to be held collectively by optical light sources and optical power & loss meters in 2019. On the other hand, OTDRs will witness a relatively faster growth in demand as key components that are traceable to calibration standards and cost-effective for the outside plant (OSP).
The study states that the trend of greater demand for OTDRs is expected to continue, as these offer relatively higher accuracy in optical power meter (OPM) measurements. This particularly significant when OPM is used in combination with a stabilized light source for obtaining loss of plant in dB. Optical time domain reflectometers will continue to gain popularity as key instruments in testing, troubleshooting, and maintenance while evolving to meet current as well as future requirements.
Future Prospects Bright for Fiber Optic Test Equipment Market
As the evolution in automated, multi-purpose and cloud-friendly instruments becomes palpable, the optical communications technology that cable operators have at their disposal will witness significant changes in the upcoming years. Although certain tests will retain their essentiality in the fiber optic test equipment market, the way they are conducted and their targeted measurement areas are likely to witness transformations.
Key players in the fiber optic test equipment market are focusing on the adoption of next-generation PON technology, while network managers eye the shift toward distributed access architecture. This will result in notable developments in the fiber optic test equipment as a consequence. Rapid advancements in the optical network space continue to put pressure on troubleshooting and deployment technicians. Fiber optic test equipment vendors are focusing on simplifying operational aspects for technicians, as new optical technologies gain significance.
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