Home > CIOE News > CIOE Exclusive Interview with a Senior Analyst from LightCounting on the Optical Communication Market under COVID-19

CIOE Exclusive Interview with a Senior Analyst from LightCounting on the Optical Communication Market under COVID-19

2020-12-03 16:18:59Source:CIOE

LightCounting Analysis of Cloud Market

Regardless of the difficulties in 2020 due to the pandemic, the world's data center industry showed its vitality and strength. LightCounting's latest report indicated the cloud market trends from 2010 to 2024 and predicted the cloud market will recover and even grow in 2021. The CIOE team had a talk with an important senior analyst from the LightCounting team shortly after the past CIOE 2020, and they generously shared some valuable insights and forecast regarding the optical communication market. Let's find out his observations and analysis on the industry that you can't miss.

CIOE: Could you introduce your observations on the industry in 2020 under the influence of COVID-19, like the changes in the way people buy and sell, network or the way they think, or anything you think matters? 

Tom: Those of us who work in the computer networking industry can feel fortunate that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the importance of our industry. People working in the hotel, airline, amusement park, and movie theater industries have to worry about their jobs, but we in the networking industry can feel a bit safer about our careers. I really enjoy working from my home. This year many more people were able to experience the work from home lifestyle. Around the world many companies have found that employees are very productive working from their homes. For example, Facebook plans to let many of its employees work from home permanently. Facebook's headquarters is in a very expensive city forcing them to offer very high salaries, but now they will begin to hire high quality employees who will work from their homes in lower cost cities who are very happy to accept a somewhat lower salary. So it is really a win-win situation for both the company and the employee. Also in cities all around the world the sharp decrease in people driving to work has lowered the air pollution levels dramatically.  


LightCounting's Analysis of the Impact of the COVID-19 on Telecom, Cloud Services, and Enterprise IT

CIOE: Could you elaborate a bit on the Chinese market and your opinions on it under the “suffering situation” of COVID-19 in the next 2-3 years? 

Tom: China has gotten back to work and recovered economically much faster than anywhere else in the world. I live in China and honestly I am very proud of how everyone here in China stayed at home when we were supposed to, and we wear a mask when we are supposed to, and now as a result of that, we have far fewer problems with the virus than the rest of the world. Every Chinese citizen and every foreign resident here should be proud of this.

CIOE: Could you please give a round-up for what you’ve shared at a CIOE forum?

Tom: I talked at length about the short, medium and longer term optics purchasing plans of the largest Western Internet content providers such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft. And I pointed out that the aggregate optical networking spending of all these "Cloud" companies will likely soon surpass the aggregate optical networking expenditures of the world's largest telecom companies. I also talked about how, while traditional plug-able optics will co-exist with co-packaged optics at 800G; by 1.6T the optical chips will likely have to be co-packaged directly on top of the electrical ASIC or server CPUs.

In addition, Ms. Zhou Xue, vice president of research and business development of LightCounting, also participated in the All-Scenario Optical Connection Accelerating IP Network‘s Entry for the 400GE Era Forum hosted by Hisilicon and Huawei. The latest research and trends of data center’s interconnection were shared in that forum.


LightCounting's Analysis of Cloud Market

LightCounting's Analysis of Optical Module and Co-packaged Devices

LightCounting's Analysis of Optical Module and Co-packaged Devices

LightCounting's Analysis of the TOP 5 Cloud Companies

LightCounting's Analysis of the TOP 5 Cloud Companies

CIOE: Please tell us how many times you’ve been to CIOE before, and how you feel about the new venue in 2020?

Tom: I have attended CIOE every September since I started attending in 2012. CIOE moved to a new exhibition hall this year. The condition of the halls and meeting rooms have kept up with the international standards. They are very nice. However, due to the remoteness of the location, there was a lot of pressure on the available public transportation connecting to the exhibition center both in the morning and in the evening. After the new subway line is put into operation, it should be greatly improved.

CIOE: What impressed you the most at CIOE 2020 / What attracts you to visit or participate at CIOE?

Tom: The number of exhibitors who attended, their friendliness, and having the time to talk with each one without feeling rushed.

Tom William at Optical Communication Forum of CIOE 2020

Tom William at Optical Communication Forum of CIOE 2020 

CIOE: If you had to predict one hot selling product in next 2 years, which product do you think will have the chance? 

Tom: At LightCounting, currently we think that 400G DR4 sales are going to be the next big thing in the market. Lastly, I would like to say that I am looking forward to meeting many of your readers at next year’s CIOE 2021.

CIOE: Could you introduce what updates occurred at LC in 2020 or in 2021?

Tom: LightCounting Market Research expanded its coverage this year to include wireless networking as well as optical networking and data centers. Stéphane Téral, who is quite famous within our industry has joined our company as Chief Analyst. We will very likely be expanding yet again in 2021 so stay tuned for that exciting announcement. 

CIOE: Could you introduce us to several of the latest LC reports which you think Chinese professionals shouldn’t miss?

Tom: We just released our revised Market Forecast Report at the end of October and everyone should want to have a copy of that. It really quantifies the effects that COVID-19 has had on the demand for each of the various types of optical transceivers sold today. It also makes projections for the demand quantity and the average selling price over the next 5 years. Prior to that, we released a report with lots of detail focusing on High Speed Ethernet Optics and soon we are releasing our annual report on Access Networks which covers both PON FTTx and Wireless fronthaul and backhaul networking. Both of those reports also forecast the demand and selling price for each specific optical module that they discuss for five years into the future, and give many years of historical data on the actual quantities shipped and their actual average selling prices. 

LightCounting's Analysis and Forecast of the Shipments of Ethernet Optics

LightCounting's Analysis and Forecast of the Shipments of Ethernet Optics

LightCounting's Analysis and Forecast of the Shipments of Ethernet Optics

LightCounting's Analysis and Forecast of the Shipments of Ethernet Optics

CIOE: What will be your next event and how people can get in touch with LC? 

Tom: LightCounting will have team members at ECOC 2020 on December 7 - 9, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. At this moment I believe that there will be both an in person and virtual portions of the event. 

Anyone in the networking industry is welcome to contact me at tom@lightcounting.com; For assistance in purchasing any of LightCounting's reports people should feel free to contact Ms. Lv Hui on WeChat or by telephone at 15011909661. 


Tom William

Tom William

Senior Market Analyst 


Tom William has over 36 years of professional work experience. He worked in the corporate data centers of Bank of America, Honeywell and Eastman Kodak. Tom did groundbreaking work on the automation of Electronic Data Interchange transmission and presented it at the Data Interchange Standards Association conference in 1993. He taught at Motorola University and was one of the first 100 educators awarded the title of "Cisco Certified Academic Instructor". Tom has worked as a Senior Market Analyst for LightCounting Market Research since 2011 where he researches optical component vendors and various related Chinese technology companies. Tom holds degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from the State University of New York.


LightCounting Market Research is a very well-known market research firm focusing on the research and analysis for high speed interconnects for the datacom, telecom, and consumer communications markets. The LightCounting team now has grown to cover the whole supply chain from optical and semiconductor components, to modules and sub-systems. 

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