Optical components reach ten-year growth high in 2010

Optical components ballooned 35 percent over 2010 to reach $5.6 billion in revenues, marking the highest reach in ten years.

In fact it was optical components (OC) that led the way for market recovery in the telecoms space from the dismal 2009, according to analysts at Ovum. The “dramatic gain” in 2010 was the most handsome  year on year growth since the days of that first telecom bubble, but Ovum warns it’s a sign of a lousy 2009 rather than another high-point for the telco industry.

The market enjoyed five percent sequential growth in the closing quarter of 2010 meaning a seventh consecutive quarterly gain.

Reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers, or ROADMs, were out on top in terms of segments. ROADMs can use MEMS to switch traffic from wavelength-division multiplexing systems at a wavelength layer, eventually converting WDM signals to electronics and back to optical signals.

Along with filters it grew 46 percent in 2010 from 2009, and reached annual revenues of $900 million. Fourth quarter revenues of $260 million meant 10 percent sequential increase, which Ovum says is “way above” the standard five percent  typically seen for growth in the industry. Because ROADMs are used “at the heart” of all transport networks the segment will continue to be comparitively high-growth.

The vendor benefiting most from recovery, says Ovum, is JDSU – which increased revenues over 75 percent from 2009, growing market share by 0.6 percent sequentially in the closing quarter.