The global market from metro wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) will increase from $484m (£296m) in 2002 to $1.5bn by the end of 2007, analysts have predicted.
According to IDC, metro WDM will be the next big thing in optical networking. Sterling Perrin, senior research analyst in IDC's Optical Networks programme, said: "Vendor and industry attention is increasing in metro WDM.
"Although metro WDM will not compensate for the sharp drop that vendors have experienced in their long-haul and legacy lines, it will be an important growth opportunity within optical networking."
According to the IDC study, Worldwide Metro WDM Forecast and Analysis, 2003-2007, metro WDM growth will be driven by customer-facing applications including Gigabit Ethernet services and storage area network (San) extension.
The analyst found that carriers are deploying metro WDM gear to offer managed wavelength services to end customers for carrying their storage traffic across metro areas.
Business continuity and disaster recovery applications are driving the enterprise San extension deployments, prompted in part by security considerations.
IDC added that, with far fewer green field network builds, there is less need for WDM as an alternative to fibre in the metro core.
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