Global Optical Switches Market - Segmented by Type (All Optical Switch and electro Optical Switch), Application (Optical Switching, Fiber Restoration and Optic, Component Testing, Optical Add - Drop Multiplexing, Signal Monitoring, Optical Cross - Connects, Network Monitors, and External Modulators), Technology (Mechanical Optical Switch, Micro Electronics Mechanical Switch, Liquid Crystal Optical Switch, Bubble Switch, Thermal Optical Switch, and Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers Switch), and Geography - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2018 - 2023)
The optical switches market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.08% during the forecast period (2018 - 2023).Data communication networks around the world use optical fibers to accommodate their large bandwidth requirement. With the internet and mobile communication being the most crucial part of the modern economy, the number of service providers and users increased rapidly over the time. In such scenario, the traditional switching methods, which were very slow and consumed high amounts of energy, posed challenges in handling optical networks leading to the innovation of optical switches.
Optical switches progressed naturally with the increased usage of optical fiber technology. As the technology nurtured, new methods, such as bubble switches, MEMS switches made their way into the market expanding the applications of optical switches towards signal monitoring and external modulation, along with the switching capabilities. These innovations boosted the optical switches market in a concise period accounting to the high demand in all-optical switches (OOO Switches), which enabled the optical networks to function at their maximum capacities. In current market scenario, there are no high-speed fiber-optic networks without optical switches.
Rapid Growth in Cloud Services is driving the Market
Since the invention of cloud, almost every digital technology moved on to cloud technology. All the tech giants, like Google (G-Suit), Microsoft (Azure), and Oracle (Oracle Cloud) moved to a cloud platform to stay ahead of the rest of competitors. With most of the commercial activity in the world, like transactions, marketing, and official communications taking place over the internet, the concept of cloud instantly attracted the corporate world with its advantages. This led to increase in, one and the only governing factor of the cloud technology, high-speed internet connectivity. Any cloud platform is as good as the internet speed that the user has access to.
With the advent in mobile technology, almost any task imaginable in the world has got an application on the mobile platform to get it done, which range from booking a travel ticket to consulting a doctor for a diagnosis. Online streaming services, like YouTube, Netflix, and amazon prime, online storage services, like dropbox and Google drive, all of them to need a high-speed internet connection to function seamlessly. Out of 7.6 global population, more than 2 billion (26% of population) have active 4G connections some of which peak at 1000 Mbit/s. To provide such high-speed data services from all the mobile towers, service providers need optical switches to run and maintain the underlying cable or fiber networks. This creates continuous demand in the telecom and other dependent markets for optical switches.
Innovations in MEMS Technology to Bring New Opportunities
Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) are miniature devices that are fabricated with the micro-machining process. The devices range in dimensions from a few hundred microns to millimeters and are mostly fabricated on silicon substrates, using standard semiconductor processing techniques. MEMS optical switches are generally configured by placing mirrors in crossbar style for the optical signal to deflect to the correct location. In a 2D architecture, NxN port switch has a total of N2 mirrors in the setup.
High initial prices of the optical switches equipment are one of the major concerns of end-users. MEMS technology helps such end-users, both in terms of efficiency and price. When compared to other optical switch technologies, the MEMS platform presents the best value in terms of size, form factor, durability, and cost. Latest innovations, like dual-axes tilting MEMS mirror, 3D MEMES, fan-out optical switch variants, which provide over a billion cycles lifetime, are finding better application in network monitoring and other sectors, which needs frequent switching operations.
The Asia Pacific on the Fast Lane to Development
The Asia Pacific is the most significant market for mobile communications and mobile devices in the world. The region has been racing against giants, like North America in terms of smartphone and other mobile devices consumption. With countries, like India and China exceeding the consumption numbers of US in the last three years, Asia Pacific region is currently on top of the charts for mobile devices market. As the number of mobile devices grew in the region, so did the number of services providers. This factor elevated the construction and setup of high-speed fiber networks in the region leading to increased consumption of optical switches.
Promising trends and government regulation in Asia Pacific countries, like India, China, and Indonesia create a positive outlook for the communications industry in the region. In India, according to the recent budget plan, the import duties on electronics were increased by two folds to encourage the Make in India campaign. Import duty on LCD/LED/OLED panels, parts of TVs hiked to 15% and duty on smartwatches, wearable devices, footwear was doubled to 20%. This situation is expected to bring foreign manufacturers to establish their production plants in the country, which enhances the availability of top branded smartphone at lower prices in the world’s top mobile devices demand zone, directly impacting the optical switches market.
Key Developments in the Market