Following five successive years of decline, overall PON revenue rebounded in the first quarter 2018, Dell'Oro reports.
Chinese providers -- looking to feed an uptick in subscribers hungry for high-speed broadband -- led the reversal of passive optical network fortunes, said Alam Tamboli, senior analyst at Dell'Oro, and author of the recent "Broadband Access Quarterly" report which measures this and related data.
In addition to PON revenue, increased broadband demand also drove sales of optical networking terminals (ONTs), said Tamboli.
"Huawei was the primary beneficiary of the surge, capturing the largest ONT market share," he noted. "While 2018 may be off to a great start for the PON market, we expect demand to soften for the rest of the year as China Mobile is expected to add subscribers at a significantly lower rate. Huawei and ZTE ... 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."
While a growing number of Western operators are exploring or deploying XGS-PON or NG-PON2, most major Chinese operators will advance to XG-PON or XGS-PON, according to Dell'Oro.
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