Wei Leping, executive deputy director of the Communications Technology Committee of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, stated at the China Optical Network Symposium that 5G will bring more opportunities to optical communication, and optical fiber, optical modules, and high-speed optical access network systems will become the three beneficiaries.
At present, according to the existing 3.5 GHz frequency band, due to the high frequency band and poor coverage, 14 dB worse than that of the 1.8 GHz band, the number of base stations may be expanded to 2 times. With the application of millimeter waves, the number of base stations will also increase significantly. However, the density of 4G base stations in China is already on the high side, and the distance between urban base stations has reached 200-500 meters. It is difficult for the number of base stations in the 5G era to continue to increase substantially.
In the face of the inability to increase the number of base stations, the usage of optical fiber will increase accordingly, and is expected to be twice as high as 4G. According to Wei Leping, it is estimated that there will be at least several hundred million core kilometers of space. Taking into account the non-technical and irrational competition situation that may occur in the country, it will result in a huge optical fiber demand that exceeds the actual market expectations. In other words, the substantial increase of 5G base stations in the future will make optical fiber the first beneficiary.
Along with this, optical modules will become the second beneficiary, and it is expected that the entire 5G network will bring tens of millions of high-speed 25/50Gbps optical module usage. In addition, due to the huge space for development in China's data centers, the development space for high-speed optical modules is more impressive.
The huge capacity and new architecture of 5G will also bring new development opportunities and cost pressures to the bearer network, which will also make the high-speed optical access network system the third beneficiary. The new 5G architecture will increase the back capacity by several dozen times to reach 100Gbps or more. This requires the introduction of 25/50Gbps WDM, SPN, WDM PON, etc. There will be a huge demand to the market for tunable lasers, high-speed optical modules and WDM.