The science of transmission of data, pictures and voice by the passage of light through thin transparent fibers is called fiber optics technology. It is the technique that utilizes glass or plastic threads for the transmission of data over a network. It comprises of bundled threads of fiber optics used to transmit data over a network which are modulated into light waves having a specific wavelength. It is a flexible, transparent thread made of glass, slightly thicker than the human hair. It performs the function of waveguide to transmit data that has been modulated in the light waves, thereby transmitting it from one end to the other.
Fiber optics is very useful in transmission of data over long distance without any attenuation. They are used instead of the metal wires where huge amount of data is lost during the transmission process. They are less affected by electromagnetic interference, providing accurate and integrated data. The fibers that allow multiple modes or transverse modes are known as multi mode fibers while those that carry the waves in only one direction are called single mode fibers.
Considering the increased usage of high speed broadband services in the field of Internet, the market is shifting towards more sophisticated and advanced techniques which also includes optic fibers. Considering the shift or change in the utilization of Internet technology, the growth rate as recorded happens to be USD 1900 million in 2011 and considering the current utilization and the shift towards fiber optics, the expected market is around USD 2900 million in 2017 with a CAGR of 9.5%.
The growing concerns of safety and security with usage of new sophisticated technology are fuelling the market of fiber optics. Fiber optics’ supports remote sensing, a type of technique, wherein no actual physical medium is required for the transmission of data, thereby helping in the reduction of wear and tear of the fiber materials used. This has helped to transmit data over regions which were inaccessible using the traditional technology.
The utilization of alternative cost efficient raw material for are fuelling the market of fiber optics, reducing the operating costs and increasing its revenue.
The higher cost involved in the manufacturing process and the higher installation cost prevents many consumers from utilizing such an efficient technology. They turn to the traditional metal wires, leading to huge loss of data. Fiber optic cables are required to be covered with material to protect it from wear and tear and transmit data without attenuation; this extra coating also increases the operating cost.
The complex procedure involved in splicing of the ends while connecting the optic fibers to one another and the installation of repeaters is reducing the market growth. The complex installation process is one of the major restraints to the fiber optic market.
The depleting resource of raw materials and its increasing prices, which happens to be silica -one of the major components, is increasing the cost of fiber optics. The installation of the extremely costly machinery for the production of fiber optics is acting as the key entry barrier for the fiber optics business.
The New York based glass and ceramic manufacturer - Corning is leading the optic fiber market. They invented the thin fiber threads, transmitting the data at light speed. It registered USD 271.45 million revenue. Corning leads the market, with Lucent Technologies following it at the number two position and Alcatel at number three. Corning nearly covers 30% of the total market geographically. It generates about 70% of its revenue from its telecommunications business.