The global free space optics (FSO) market features a highly dynamic landscape wherein numerous technological advancements are taking place at a rapid pace and companies are compelled to focus more on development of innovative and more reliable FSO systems and solutions, observes a report by Transparency Market Research. Key companies in the market, including Trimble Hungary Ltd., Optelix,Mostcom Ltd., AOptix Technologies Inc., LightPointe Communications, Inc., and Harris Corporation are also under constant pressure of competition from existing players in fiber optics and wireless communication technologies.
The market holds immense growth potential owing to the vast rise in demand for high-speed, low-cost, and secure communication methodologies across the globe. Transparency Market Research estimates that the market will exhibit a remarkable 39.5% CAGR over the period between 2016 and 2024. Expanding at this pace, the market is expected to rise from an opportunity of US$81.3 mn in 2015 to US$1,306.1 mn by 2024. Of the key application areas of the FSO market, the segment of data transmission presently holds the leading position. North America is the leading regional market, accounting for a share of over 30% in the global market in 2015.
Rising Demand for High-speed Communication Channels to Boost Adoption of FSO
The ever increasing demand for data streaming and multimedia services across communication networks and the unprecedented growth and demand for higher bandwidths for high-speed internet has resulted in the congestion of conventional radio frequency spectrum despite rapid advancements in the networking sector. This is a key factor compelling an increasing number of network providers to switch to FSO technology as an alternative to overburdened conventional technologies for outdoor networking. Other advantages of FSO technology, including low operational and start-up costs, rapid deployment, high data transmission security, and high fiber-like bandwidth have also enticed network operators to increase the adoption of FSO technology.
The market for FSO technology is also driven by the rising usage of this mode of communication across a number of military applications. Some of the most promising areas in the military sector where deployment of FSO technology can prove to be highly effective are ship-to-ship communication, ship-to-shore communication, and communication between military bases where bases are located within the range of 2-4 kilometers. Owing to the usage of modulated light in FSO, it is capable of supporting larger bandwidths than radio frequency spectrum. The collimated laser energy of FSO offers properties such as low probability of detection and interception, which are highly desirable for applications demanding high security. These factors are collectively expected to have a significant impact on the overall development of the market in future years.
Signal Quality Constraints Due to Environmental Interference Raise Concerns Regarding FSO’s Reliability
In most optical wireless technologies, the light being transmitted through free space needs to contend with the interference presented by the complexity of the surrounding space. In case of FSO communication also, the space through which FSO signals propagate presents fundamental limitation to the reliability and robustness of FSO systems. In locations with link ranges over 200 meters, weather conditions such as fog and atmospheric turbulence could lead to temporary link outages and result in the deterioration of communication signals in terms of factors such as quality, speed, and efficiency. These factors could make the consumer weary about FSO systems and act as a key restrain for the development of the market.
Nevertheless, with increased focus on research and development activities, service providers are introducing FSO systems and solutions with technological advancements that can eliminate the impact of these interferences. Attempts are being made by network operators to eliminate the effect of scintillation on the quality of FSO transmission with the help of spatial diversity, which refers to a multi beam approach that exploits multiple regions of the space.
This review of the market is based on a recent market research report published by Transparency Market Research, titled “Free Space Optics Market (By Components - Transmitters, Receivers, Modulators, Demodulators, Encoders & Decoders and Others, By Application - Storage Area Network, Data Transmission, Defense, Security, Airborne Applications, Healthcare, Disaster Recover, Last Mile Access and Others) - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2016 - 2024.”
For this study, the global free space optics market is segmented as follows:
Free Space Optics Market, by Components
- Encoders & Decoders
Free Space Optics Market, by Application
- Storage Area Network
- Data Transmission
- Airborne Applications
- Disaster Recover
- Last Mile Access
Free Space Optics Market, by Geography: The market is broadly segmented on the basis of geography into:
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Middle east and Africa
- Latin America