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Asia-Pacific Telecom Market Promises Opportunity

Compiled By Deborah Austin The Asia-Pacific optical transport market will grow this year to $6.2 billion -- from $3.9 billion in 2000 -- and reach $14.8 billion by 2004, forecasts a report by telecom market-research firm RHK Inc., San Francisco. Key growth drivers: continued deregulation in such markets as China and India, strong demand for fixed and wireless data services, and increased Internet penetration. WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing) equipment, expected to reach $1.4 billion in 2001, comprises the Asia-Pacific terrestrial optical transport market's fastest-growing sector. Lucent Technologies Inc. led in 2000 with a 33% market share. SDH/SONET (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy/Synchronous Optical Network) equipment sales -- the second fastest-growing sector -- could reach $4.3 billion in 2001. Fujitsu Ltd. led in 2000 with a 19% share. The region's cultural and commercial diversity make it a tough place to succeed, says Matt Walker, RHK's regional director for Asia-Pacific. For example, "in China, local suppliers are major players. But in places such as Japan, traditional giants Fujitsu and NEC [Corp.] continue to reign."

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