Research Touts Asia-Pacific Boom

According to a report issued today by RHK Inc., the Asia-Pacific region is virtually immune to any slowdowns in optical spending. RHK says combined revenues in the region from terrestrial wave-division multiplexing (WDM) and Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) gear will shoot from $3.5 billion in 2000 to $17.2 billion by 2004.

Revenue Growth: WDM and SDH in Asia-Pacific Region, 1999-2004 While growth in both WDM and SDH sales will skyrocket, there will continue to be a gap between them, a sign that in Asia as well as the rest of the world, carriers will build on existing telecom infrastructure. But RHK says that massive buildouts in countries like China, where much of the infrastructure is new, present key opportunities for WDM. China will see a compound annual growth rate of 73 percent in WDM gear over the next four years, RHK says.

RHK says the hefty growth figures throughout the region are being driven by Asia's growing demand for IP, plus the installation of submarine fiber connections with the rest of the world. Additionally, deregulation in China, Taiwan, and India is helping spur competitive startups eager to build massive new optical networks.

The research seems to support claims made by some telecom carriers who predict an ongoing strong worldwide optical equipment market, despite setbacks in North America. In an earnings call last week, for instance, CEO William Cadogan of ADC Telecommunications Inc. (Nasdaq: ADCT), cited strong demand among global carriers in blasting Wall Street analysts concerned with a slowdown (see ADC Shares Perk Up). And this week, the strength of the European market hit the spotlight when Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) won a lucrative equipment contract with a European CLEC (see Juniper Jumps to Germany).

-- Mary Jander, senior editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com

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