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The optical industry continues to progress in 2018 while being impacted by macro mergers and trade issues.


  • Product shipments for 400G have moved briskly in 2018. Ovum expects that in 2019 the single-channel programmable 600G optics market will address reduced costs and power requirements per bit.
  • Market consolidation and trade issues impacted the market in 2018, and Ovum expects both issues to continue to impact 2019.
  • 5G architecture and deep-fiber requirements will begin to materially impact the optical network in 2019, and vendors need to address this opportunity or be left behind.

Features and Benefits

  • Evaluates the trends related to 400G.
  • Identifies the opportunity of 5G backhaul.
  • Evaluates the recent mergers and partnerships.

Key questions answered

  • What has been driving market share growth in WDM since 2014?
  • How important is coherent optics to success?
  • What are the drivers in backhaul?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Innovation continues to drive success

Scale requires consolidation

  • Consolidation sped up in 2018
  • US, China and the rest of the world

600G systems are arriving

  • Ciena will have competition in 2019
  • 400G+ market will continue to ramp

5G transport develops

  • 5G build begins in pockets
  • 5G build drives investment


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author