Week in research: EPON maturity slows optical equipment sales; UC, PBX gear up for battle

Passive optical network equipment dips: As EPON (Ethernet passive optical network) builds in the Asia Pacific region--particularly Japan, China and Korea--reach maturity, shipments of related equipment declined slightly in 2012 compared to the year previous. However, sales of other PON equipment, including GPON and ONT/ONU consumer premises equipment, continued to climb, though not enough to offset EPON declines. The total FTTx PON equipment market fell 9 percent in 2012 due to these mixed results. "Shipments of total PON OLT port market will continue to decline unless there are major GPON network builds in India, Indonesia, Brazil and/or Russia," said Julie Kunstler, telecom components analyst at Ovum. "We began to see the use of PON in wireless backhaul, particularly for small cell sites where there is technical fit and geographic overlap. We are also seeing PON deployments for enterprise optical LAN. Next-Gen PON's numbers will remain small as the need for 10G PON in FTTB MDU deployments is fading away, leaving wireless-backhaul and enterprise as possible markets."  ZTE leads this market segment, with Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) holding the second and third spots. Release

China's ambitious broadband goal: China has set an initiative to increase broadband users in the country by 60 million by the end of 2013, a 30 percent increase over last year, reports Telecompaper. The Broadband China project aims to increase FTTH deployments to 35 million more users and see more than 200 million broadband-enabled households. Bandwidth capacity in urban areas will be increased to 20 Mbps by 2015. Article

PBX gears up for battle: Unified communications is beginning to take hold worldwide, driving down traditional PBX revenues, according to Infonetics Research. "Following two years of modest growth, the PBX market had a tough 2012. While shipments grew, competitive pricing pressure persisted, driving down worldwide revenues, exacerbated by Europe's tough economic conditions," said Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC and IMS. Still, moderate growth is expected for PBX in 2013, although medium and large enterprises will also begin to adopt UC applications in greater numbers. Release