The WDM market saw 12 percent year-over-year growth in the first quarter of 2014 as service providers continued to add more network capacity to keep pace with their business, wholesale and consumer bandwidth needs, according to Dell'Oro Group.
"While total optical market demand has entered positive growth during this period, the WDM market stands out as the true beneficiary of the increased investment," said Jimmy Yu, vice president of Optical Transport research at Dell'Oro Group.
Yu added that ongoing rollouts of 100G will be a key element in sustaining future WDM market growth.
"Furthermore, as 100 Gbps WDM transmission rates enter mainstream use, we don't see an end to its growth," he said. "We estimate that in the recent first quarter 2014 the number of 100 Gbps WDM line card shipments more than doubled versus the same period last year."
These trends have become a haven for the optical vendor community, particularly Huawei, Ciena and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), which held the top three positions. Although Huawei led the market with 6 percent growth, Ciena and Alcatel-Lucent reported gains of 18 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
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