China drives rebound in PON market

14 Jun 2018

After five consecutive quarters of decline, global sales of passive optical network (PON) gear rebounded in the first quarter of 2018, according to a new report by Dell’Oro Group.

The rebound is mainly driven by the growth in China, where broadband subscribers pushed optical networking terminal (ONT) shipments to a record level, said the report.

“China added over 11 million new broadband subscribers in 1Q18, and network operators such as China Mobile purchased large volumes of ONTs to connect those customers to high-speed Internet services,” commented Alam Tamboli, senior analyst at Dell’Oro Group. “Huawei was the primary beneficiary of the surge, capturing the largest ONT market share.”

Despite the encouraging growth, Tamboli said the research firm expects this rebound is short-lived, however.

“While 2018 may be off to a great start for the PON market, we expect demand to soften for rest of the year as China Mobile is expected to add subscribers at a significantly lower rate,” Tamboli explained.

“Huawei and ZTE, the top ranked PON vendors, are working to diversify their customer base in anticipation of reduced demand in China, as operators in China accounted for over four-fifths of each company’s PON revenue in 1Q18.”

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