Over the course of the past few years, the free space optics (FSO) technology has witnessed a substantial rise in prominence across a number of application areas and a high rate of adoption among service providers across the globe. The increased prominence of this technology is driven chiefly by the rising demand for high speed connectivity at low costs and the difficulties associated with the deployment of fiber optics networks. The vast rise in the incorporation of free space optics in high-speed networking technologies such as 3G and 4G, chiefly due to the quick deployment and easy installation of free space optical systems, is also positively impacting the expansion of the market.
Transparency Market Research estimates that the global free space optics market will tread along a remarkable growth path and exhibit a tremendous 39.5% CAGR over the period between 2016 and 2024. At this pace, the market, which held an opportunity of US$81.3 mn in 2015, is expected to rise to US$1,306.1 mn by 2024.
Use of Free Space Optics for Secure Data Transmission to Generate Maximum Returns
Some of the key application areas of free space optics are data transmission, storage area network, defense, last mile access, security, healthcare, airborne applications, and disaster recovery, and others. Of these, the segment of data transmission dominated the market in 2015. Data transmitted via FSO is more secure compared to other wireless transmission technologies, a factor that works in favor of FSO, especially across sectors such as defense and security.
Applications of free space optics across the defense industry also held a substantial share in the global market in 2015. Owing to the high bandwidth capacity, low bit error rates, less power consumption, and high communications security features, the deployment of FSO technology across several operations in the defense industry has been persistent. Over the forecasting horizon, the rising demand for FSO from other application areas such as healthcare and airborne travel is expected to bolster the global market.
Adoption Rate of FSO in Asia Pacific to Outpace Mature Markets
North America dominated the global free space optics market in 2015 and was followed by Europe. Collectively, these two regions held more than 60% of the market in 2015. The primary factors driving the market for free space optics in these regions include considerable research and development activities and early penetration of latest technologies. Moreover, facilitation of high bandwidth and high quality access to communication methods and constant upgrades to network infrastructure are also fuelling the FSO market in these regions.
The U.S. military has been using FSO technology for several years primarily in the areas of ship-to-ship and naval communications. In Europe, several technological endeavors sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA) and other space agencies have stimulated growth of the FSO market, especially in the domain of space laser communications.
In the next few years, Asia Pacific is projected to be the region with the most promising growth opportunities for free space optics. Developing countries such as India and China have witnessed steady economic growth and splendid development in sectors such as telecommunication and IT in the past few years. These factors are expected to fuel the growth of the FSO technology in the near future. The FSO market in Asia Pacific will see a significant rise in competitiveness owing to emergence of new players and advancement in free space optics technologies.
Some of the market’s notable players are Trimble Hungary Ltd., Optelix,Mostcom Ltd., AOptix Technologies Inc., LightPointe Communications, Inc., IBSENtelecom Ltd., Harris Corporation, Anova Technologies, fSONA Networks Corp., and Wireless Excellence Limited among others.
Free space optics (FSO) communication, also known as optical wireless or free space photonics (FSP) is a line-of-sight technology that propagates light in free space such as vacuum, air, or outer space in order to wirelessly transmit data for computer networking and telecommunication. This technology requires light, which can be focused by either using light emitting diodes or lasers. Free space optics uses optical signals as the carrier frequencies to offer point-to-point transmission of communication information through the atmosphere. This technology offers several benefits over the existing techniques such as radio, microwave, or optical systems. The advantages associated with FSO such as low initial investment, low power usage per transmitted bit, high bandwidth provisioning, flexible rollouts, high security, and quick establishment of communication link has led to increasing number of applications of free space optics in various industries.
A surge in demand for high bandwidth and increasing application of free space optical technology in military environments is strongly driving the growth of the free space optics market. Bandwidth usage is experiencing unprecedented growth and the demand for bandwidth is not likely to slow down in the coming years. Free space optical communication is a viable solution for various military applications and the most promising military environments where FSO technology can be used include military bases, in between bases where bases are co-located within 2-4 km of one another, ship to shore communications, and ship to ship communications. In addition to these factors, the incorporation of free space optics in 3G and 4G networks is triggering the market growth. Furthermore, quicker time to market and reduced costs associated with free space optics technology is boosting the market growth. The conjoint effect of all these drivers is thus set to bolster the growth of the global free space optics market during the forecast period.
Advancements in free space optics technology and healthy economic growth of emerging economies are offering potential growth opportunities to the free space optics market. Advancements in free space optics technology have led to growth in requirement of free space optical communication in several applications including telecommunications, military and defense.
Key players in the fiber space optics market are coming up with rapid technological advancements to mitigate the effect of atmospheric attenuation on the FSO signals and this is expected to offer potential growth opportunities to the growth of the global free space optics market. Further, an unexpected exponential growth of the telecommunications industry and tremendous increase in the online time used up by existing customers is witnessed in the developing regions of Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa and Latin America. This is persistently fuelling the demand for bandwidth and consequently offering lucrative opportunities for the growth of the FSO market.
The competitive profiling of the major companies in the global free space optics market across five broad geographic regions has been included in the study. The competitive landscape is inclusive of the recent developments of the leading players in the field of free space optics and the various business strategies adopted by these companies. In the report, market attractive analysis of the chief application of free space optics has been provided in order to offer an insight into the global free space optics market. An extensive analysis of market dynamics which includes the drivers, restraints and opportunities of the global market is included under the scope of the study. Hence, the global free space optics market report offers an inclusive study of the market along with providing the forecast of the market for the period from 2016 to 2024.
Some of the major players in the market are: Trimble Hungary Ltd. (Hungary), Mostcom Ltd. (Russia), AOptix Technologies Inc. (U.S.), Optelix (South Africa), LightPointe Communications, Inc. (U.S.), IBSENtelecom Ltd. (Norway), Harris Corporation (U.S.), Anova Technologies (U.S.), fSONA Networks Corp. (Canada) and Wireless Excellence Limited (U.K.) among others.
The global free space optics market has been segmented into:
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