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Market Research Report

Outdoor Free Space Optics In Non-Military/Aerospace Applications Global Market Forecast 2017-2027

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Outdoor Free Space Optics In Non-Military/Aerospace Applications Global Market Forecast 2017-2027
Published: October 5, 2018 Content info: 69 Pages

10-Year Market Forecast:

Free Space Optics (FSO) is a line-of-sight (LOS) technology that uses directed LEDs or Laser emitters, which provide optical bandwidth Transmitters and Receivers to link voice, video, and data intelligent transfer. A single FSO link product often may incorporate multiple transmitters along with receiver/s to ensure adequate performance, in case of interference.

As the cost and other obstacles of deploying fiber optic cables or copper-based cables continue to increase, the product and deployment opportunities for FSO as well as other wireless communication link solutions improve. Communication managers face the timely delays and cost comparison of utilizing a telecommunication leased-line versus the implementation of an FSO system, the flexibility of the FSO product-area may present an attractive communication link alternative.

Data throughput (transfer) rates are continuing to push up into the multi-gigabit region and optical communication use is increasing; therefore, the emphasis on low-cost, quickly deployed system solutions is encouraging to the FSO prospects.

This report provides the ElectroniCast market consumption forecast of outdoor transmitter/receiver pairs used in non-military/aerospace outdoor fixed-location (stationary) FSO communication links; therefore, government-based Defense/Homeland Security or aircraft/spacecraft use, as well as Inside-the-building links, are not included.

FSO devices, which are placed at a window inside of a building, but directed outside, for outdoor links, are included in the forecast. Only the FSO Function of FSO/RF Hybrid Products is included in market data.

The market data in this report does not include all of the other parts that compose of the entire FSO system equipment, such as the mounting brackets, external mux/demux, drivers, switches, amplifiers, wire/connectors, installation/service, etc.

FSO communication links require at least two separate transmitter/receiver pair units; for example - one T/R pair unit at point “A“ and another T/R pair unit at point “B“.

The analysis and forecast are presented for FSO Transmitter/Receiver (pair) link devices, segmented by distance and data-rate throughput. The forecast for each selected FSO link device, in turn, is segmented by geographic region:

  • America (North America, Central and South America)
  • EMEA (Europe, Middle Eastern countries, plus Africa)
  • APAC (Asia Pacific)

The market forecast data are segmented by the following functions:

  • Consumption Value (US$, million)
  • Quantity (number/units)
  • Average Selling Prices (ASP $, T/R Pair)

Market Data Category List by Distance/Meters and by Throughput/Mbps:

  • 500 Meters or Less
    • 156 Mbps or Lower
    • Higher Than 156 Mbps
  • More Than 500 Meters
    • 156 Mbps or Lower
    • Higher Than 156 Mbps

Research Methodology:

Market analysis and technology forecasting are complex tasks. Any predictions of the shape and trends of technology and economic movement start from the notion that the germ of what will be important tomorrow is present, although smaller or larger or in a different form, in our environment today. However, taking as a basis for a prediction the assumptions of current, conventional belief creates a set of preconceived notions that can lead to serious mistakes. ElectroniCast, instead, looks to the basic driving forces. The future market for a particular type of optical wireless product category depends on a number of factors, including:

  • User equipment demand (telecommunication, data network, military/ aerospace and instrumentation) for optoelectronics (receivers, transmitters, transceivers), passive optical components (couplers/splitters, isolators, DWDM components and others (connectors and of cable).
  • The continuing trend of digital machines to higher speed and complexity, with increasing performance/cost ratio, driving an economics-based expansion of their use.
  • Displacement of previous transmission technologies, such as copper lines and microwave, by fiber optics, based on economic advantage and technology advancement.
  • Possible displacement of these transmission technologies by other solutions, such as wireless/cellular and digital direct broadcast satellite (DBS and VSAT).
  • Installation costs of wireless and wire-line networks or links.
  • Costs relative to licensing and Right-of-Way concerns
  • Shifts in the types and technologies of fiber optic/photonic components deployed, including discrete optoelectronics evolving to hybrid, evolving in turn to monolithic, and in their end applications.
  • Trends in world economies, regional economies and government policies.


This study is based on analysis of information obtained continually over the past several years, but updated through early October 2018. During this period, ElectroniCast analysts performed primary research interviews with authoritative and representative individuals in the fiber optics industry plus telecommunications, datacom, military/aerospace and other communication industries, instrumentation/laboratory - R&D and factory/manufacturing, from the standpoint of both suppliers and users of communication link products. The interviews were conducted principally with:

  • Engineers, marketing personnel and management at manufacturers of free space optics (FSO) system equipment, components and support equipment, as well as laser diodes and photodiodes, application-specific ICs, packages and cables, substrate materials, optical waveguide and other components used in the fabrication of optoelectronic transceivers, cable assemblies and installation apparatus
  • Design group leaders, engineers, marketing personnel and market planners at major users and potential users of cable, cable assemblies, connectors, installation apparatus, passive devices and transceivers, such as telecommunication transmission, switching and distribution equipment producers, data communications equipment producers (switches, hubs, routers), computer and workstation producers, weapon system, aircraft and spacecraft electronic equipment producers, optical instrumentation system producers and others.
  • Other industry experts, including those focused on standards activities, trade associations, and investments.

The interviews covered issues of technology, R&D support, pricing, contract size, reliability, documentation, installation/maintenance crafts, standards, supplier competition and other topics.

Customers also were interviewed, to obtain their estimates of quantities received and average prices paid, as a crosscheck of vendor estimates. Customer estimates of historical and expected near term future growth of their application are obtained. Their views of use of new technology products were obtained.

The analyst then considered customer expectations of near-term growth in their application, plus forecasted economic payback of investment, technology trends and changes in government regulations in each geographical region, to derive estimated growth rates of quantity and price of each product subset in each application. These forecasted growth rates are combined with the estimated baseline data to obtain the long-range forecasts at the lowest detailed level of each product and application.

A full review of published information was also performed to supplement information obtained through interviews. The following sources were reviewed:

  • Professional technical journals and papers
  • Trade press articles
  • Technical conference proceedings
  • Product literature
  • Company profile and financial information
  • Additional information based on previous ElectroniCast market studies
  • Personal knowledge of the research team.

In analyzing and forecasting the complexities of the North American and other world region markets for optical interconnect products, it is essential that the market research team have a good and a deep understanding of the technology and of the industry. ElectroniCast members who participated in this report were qualified.

Bottom-up Methodology:

ElectroniCast forecasts are developed initially at the lowest detail level, then summed to successively higher levels.

The background market research focuses on the amount of each selected data-rate capability range within each selected distance capability range of product used in each Region in the base year (2017), and the prices paid. This forms the base year data. ElectroniCast analysts then forecast the growth rates in component quantity use in each product category, along with price trends, based on competitive, economic and technology forecast trends, and apply these to derive long term forecasts at the lowest application levels. The usage growth rate forecasts depend heavily on analysis of overall end user trends toward digital broadband communication equipment usage and economic payback (see Figure 1).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Market Acceptance of Free Space Optics
  • Mobile Backhaul
  • Alternative Technical Redundancy
  • Hybrid FSO/RF Link
  • Free Space Optics: Market Forecast by Region
  • Free Space Optics: Market Forecast by Link Length
  • Line of Sight Challenges
  • Common Use of Free Space Optic Links
  • FSO Architectures (Point-to-Point, Mesh, Point-to-Multi-Point)
  • Pros/Cons of FSO Implementation
  • Free Space Optics: Market Forecast by Data-Rate and Distance
  • Profiles of Selected FSO Companies/Brands - Introduction
    • Anova Technologies (Celeras LTS)
    • Communication by Light (CBL)
    • EC System International
    • Fog Optics
    • fSONA Networks Corporation
    • Harris Corporation
    • IBSENtelecom
    • JV-Labs.EU s.r.o. (RedStar)
    • Koruza (Fabrikor)
    • Laser Light Communications, LLC
    • LightPointe Communications
    • Mostcom (Artolink®)
    • Mostcom (Northern Storm®)
    • OWB Networks™
    • Plaintree Systems Inc.
    • Polewall AS
    • RONJA
    • Trimble Inc. (GeoDesy)
    • Wireless Excellence (CableFree)
  • Competitive Market Share Estimates of Leading Companies/Brands
  • LAN/MAN/WAN - Overview
  • Free Space optics Link Examples
  • Technology Life Cycle
  • Research Methodology Explanation
  • Global Summary and Regional Market Forecast (Excel Spreadsheets)
  • Global Market Forecast
  • America Market Forecast
  • EMEA Market Forecast
  • APAC Market Forecast
  • List of Tables
  • Market Data Category List by Distance/Meters and by Throughput/Mbps
  • FSO Links in Non-Military/Aerospace Global Market Forecast, By Region ($ Million)
  • FSO Links in Non-Military/Aerospace Global Market Forecast, By Distance ($ Million)
  • FSO Links in Non-Military/Aerospace Global Market Forecast, By Distance (Quantity)
  • Free Space Optic Solutions: Pros and Cons
  • FSO 500 Meters or Less (Non-Military/Aerospace) Forecast, By Data-Rate
  • FSO More Than 500 Meters (Non-Military/Aerospace) Forecast, By Data-Rate
  • Free Space Optics Products
  • 2017 Competitive Market Share (%) Estimates
  • Migration or Upgrade Scenarios to Gigabit Ethernet
  • Global Market Forecast: Detailed Database
  • America Market Forecast: Detailed Database
  • EMEA Market Forecast: Detailed Database
  • APAC Market Forecast: Detailed Database
  • List of Figures
  • Hybrid FSO/RF Link
  • FSO Architectures
  • Millimeter Wave and Free Space Optics Frequency System
  • Free Space Optics (FSO)
  • Free Space Optics 10 Gigabits
  • FSO Installed on Rooftop
  • Last Mile FSO Application
  • FSO at 100Mbps for 30-400 Meters
  • FSO Unit
  • All Optical Space-to-Earth Data Distribution
  • Carrier-Grade Gigabit Capacity/4-Beam Auto-Tracking FSO Link
  • FSO Unit
  • FSO Unit
  • FSO Components
  • FSO Unit
  • FSO Application Examples
  • Small Foot Print FSO Unit
  • FSO - Homes Connected
  • FSO System
  • Free Space Optics Unit
  • FSO Deployment Example
  • Evolution of Research Emphasis During Technology Life Cycle
  • ElectroniCast Market Research & Forecasting Methodology
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