Handheld OTDR global market overview

-February 12, 2013

An optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR) is an optoelectronic instrument used to characterize an optical fiber.  OTDRs are widely used in the telecommunication industry for testing bare and cabled fiber, including final link commissioning.

According to a recent report from ElectroniCast Consultants, the telecommunications market has changed from a long haul point-to-point network to one that is also bringing service to the home (FTTH).  Also, the trend continues to bring smaller, lighter (hand-held) and lower priced OTDR test sets to market. These sets are increasing in (new) features and flexibility.

The global consumption value of handheld OTDR devices (dedicated-handheld or modular solutions) and OTDR modules in 2012 was $259.4 million. The consumption value is forecast to increase at a double-digit rate of 12.4 percent per year to $466.1 million in 2017, with moderate-to-strong rising quantity growth partially offset by a decline of average prices. (All values and prices in this report are at end-user levels, and are in current dollars, which include the effect of a forecasted 5 percent annual inflation rate over the forecast period).
Telecommunications, last year in 2012, represented a 75.9 percent market share of worldwide consumption of hand-held OTDR device units and OTDR modules used in hand-held test units.  The Telecommunication consumption value is forecast to increase from $196.8 million in 2012 to $374.8 million in 2017, as detailed in Table 1.  

The Cable TV (operated) sector is forecast to increase in volume (quantity/ number of units) at 9.6 percent per year during the forecast period; however, the average selling price is forecast to decrease (-) at 5.7 percent per year, which shows the CATV value increasing (only) 3.4 percent annually (2012-2017).

Consumption of in the Private Enterprise networks, military and various specialty/other applications are also quantified in this report of the study. It is important to note, that OTDRs used by contractors are often classified the non-specified end-user application category.  Consumption of (handheld) OTDRs for the deployment and maintenance of optical fiber in Private Enterprise networks is forecast to increase at a factor of three-times (3x) from $6.4 million in 2012 to $21.4 million in 2017, as fiber optic testing within LANs (local area networks) and data centers (DCs) increase, driven by critical high-speed data applications.

Table 1: Handheld OTDR Global Consumption Market Forecast, By Application (Value Basis, $Million) Note: Market forecast data in this study report refers to consumption (use) for a particular calendar year; therefore, this data is not cumulative data.

About the Author
Stephen Montgomery – President, ElectroniCast Consultants
Stephen Montgomery joined ElectroniCast  over 20-years ago and has specialized in photonics and fiber optic components market/technology forecasting and client consultations.  In addition to serving as President, he has been the Director of the Fiber Optics Components group since 1994. He has given numerous presentations and published a number of articles on optical communication markets, technology, applications and installations. Since 1994, he has been a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of LIGHTWAVE Magazine. Since 2003, he has been a regular contributor, writing a monthly article covering optical communication networks for OPTCOM Magazine (Japan).

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