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Global Broadband Access Market to Approach $12 Billion Mark in Four Years

July 30, 2015

While we routinely look at a host of new technologies every day that depend on the Web—cloud technologies, most anything hosted, and so on—there's a certain technology that underpins a lot of these: broadband access. Bandwidth is the fuel that keeps many of our biggest new technologies running, and a new report from the Dell'Oro Group suggests that we're in for a big jump in the broadband access market in fairly short order.

The worldwide broadband access market—which includes everything from passive optical networking (PON) to digital subscriber line (DSL) and cable—is set to reach nearly $12 billion in revenue by 2019. That's a substantial number, but what's driving these gains?

Alam Tamboli, a senior analyst with the Dell'Oro Group, offered some answers to that question. Tamboli noted that the market is likely to prove mixed, though up overall; cable and PON markets were set for the biggest gains, while the DSL market was likely to decline in the run-up to 2019. Cable growth is set to be caused by system upgrades to DOCSIS 3.1, while the growth of PON in the Chinese market will fuel substantial gains market-wide.

What's more, Tamboli revealed, is that the market is set to take particular advantage of time and wavelength division multiplexed (TWDN) PON access, regarded as a “next generation PON” technology which will likely be put to use beyond regular home broadband. Tamboli expects TWDN PON to be put to use in things like mobile backhaul and other business services. But the earlier PON material isn't likely to be cut out of the field, either, as vendors are reportedly “...working to address this first- to second-generation PON technology upgrade path via backwards-compatibility to ensure the PON infrastructure installed today will still be usable in the future,” as Tamboli noted. The Dell'Oro Group report goes into further detail from here, covering not just PON but also DSL and cable in greater detail as part of the “Dell'Oro Group Access 5-Year Forecast Report.”

Image via Shutterstock

It's easy to forget that, in the midst of a growing slate of technology, underneath much of it is essentially just one basic system: Internet access. While it's more than just fixed broadband—mobile broadband also plays a huge part in things—fixed broadband does represent what most people are using either in the home or at the office. That makes it possibly the biggest part of the equation, and its development is thus important to watch. We've seen a lot of growth on this front already, as Google Fiber leaves Internet service providers (ISPs) scrambling to keep up with the new pace-setter. Issues of rural connectivity are also still important—particularly to those who live rurally—and not so long ago, Verizon took a look at going all-fiber thanks to cost savings over copper.

This is a market that's got a lot of change afoot, and as such, it's one that needs to be watched carefully. The numbers from the Dell'Oro Group only serve to underscore the impact that this market has, through a host of changes coming in the near future.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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