Commercial Market

Global Fiber-optic Coupler Market to Reach $1.75 B by 2008
According to a recent report from ElectroniCast, the global consumption of fiber-optic couplers is projected to increase to $1.75 B by 2008 as a result of rising quantity growth (partially offset by a continuing decline of average prices). The report also predicts that global coupler consumption will be driven by the increasing demand for high capacity transport systems used in a variety of applications, including long-haul submarine networks, local loop networks, cable TV networks, test instruments and sensors. In 1999, North America led global coupler consumption with $149.7 M, followed by Europe with $108.9 M. (Germany, the UK, France and Italy represented the majority of fiber-optic deployment in Europe.) By 2008, global fiber-optic coupler consumption is expected to reach to $664.3 M in North America and $491.9 M in Europe.

Telecommunications fiber-optic coupler applications represented 59.3 percent of the global market consumption in 1999 with $233.5 M. The report predicts, however, that this consumption share is expected to decrease to 56 percent but increase in value to $980.1 M by 2008. Other applications for fiber-optic coupler consumption include cable TV, which represented 14.3 percent of the market share in 1999 with $56.3 M and is expected to increase to $143 M by 2008. The military/aerospace segment, which accounted for 11.6 percent with $45.6 M, is expected to increase to $273.5 M while specialty applications (including test instruments and automotive) are expected to increase to $249.8 M by 2008. Premise data networks, which consumed $19.1 M in 1999, are expected to increase to $103.8 M by 2008. For additional information, contact Theresa Hosking, ElectroniCast (650) 343-1398, fax (650) 343-1698.

Intelligent Mobile Units to be Installed in Service Vehicle Fleets
HighwayMaster Communications Inc., a provider of wireless voice and data communications services to the commercial trucking and service vehicle industries, has been selected by SBC Communications Inc. to supply Ameritech and other SBC member companies with more than 28,000 HighwayMaster series 5005S intelligent mobile units as well as enhanced proprietary software and services. The systems will provide service vehicle fleets with event-based location tracking, mobile voice communications and a location-based panic alarm device using both terrestrial-based wireless communications capabilities and the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network, thereby increasing effective utilization of service fleets and providing a safer work environment for service technicians. Installations are expected to occur throughout this year. The enhanced cellular network utilizes more than 70 cellular providers in the US and Canada, offering coverage in essentially all of the available US markets and neighboring Canadian markets. The newest installations are expected to create one of the largest GPS-based fleet service management systems in the US. To date, HighwayMaster has installed more than 43,000 mobile units at various SBC companies.

Ford to Bring Internet Features to the Automotive Industry
Ford Motor Co. has announced plans to equip next year’s model vehicles with voice-activated telematics systems that offer advanced security features and information access. The systems will be standard on select Lincoln luxury vehicles and optional on Ford Focus vehicles in Europe. The telematics system will include a voice-activated access option to personalized Internet information including news, stock quotes and weather. Additional features that will enhance passenger safety and security include automatic collision notification, which sends a message identifying the vehicle and its location to an operator whenever the air bags are deployed; an emergency assistance button, which connects a vehicle to an operator when police, fire or medical assistance is needed; and a roadside assistance button, which provides information about nearby roadside assistance.

An optional satellite radio service that offers 100 channels of radio programming throughout the US will be available beginning in 2001. In the near future, optional equipment that enables passengers to surf the Web and download material and remotely monitor the vehicle’s operating systems are expected to be made available. Passengers also can expect to control the onboard systems with their own computing equipment. The application of Bluetooth technology is predicted to permit wireless control of car systems from digital devices and, ultimately, provide communication of real-time traffic information between vehicles. The telematics systems are expected to be installed on most Ford vehicles over the next several years.

Cellular Base Station Deployment in Europe Expected to Triple by 2005
The Strategis Group Inc.’s recent analysis, “Strategis dataBankª: European Cellular Network Infrastructure,” projects that cellular base station deployment across Europe will nearly triple over the next five years, increasing from approximately 210,000 base stations in mid-1999 to more than 500,000 base stations in 2005. As subscriber growth and wireless phone usage continue to grow significantly in Europe, wireless operators are scrambling to improve both population and territorial coverage to maintain and improve their competitive position in the European market. In mid-1999, Germany’s T Mobil was the leader among European cellular operators with 18,500 base stations deployed. (E-plus, Mannesman, France Telecom and SFR (France) rounded out the list of top-five operators.) While Germany is predicted to maintain a high base station density (in terms of square kilometers), the Netherlands and Belgium are expected to lead the European market with a projected 450 base stations per 1000 square kilometers by 2005. The report projects that five markets will account for approximately 60 percent of Europe’s base station deployment by 2005, including Germany (24 percent), Italy (10 percent), the UK and France (eight percent) and Spain (seven percent).

The report, which is a compilation of interviews with 123 cellular operators who represent 160 networks across 39 countries in Eastern and Western Europe, also provides data for base stations by country and technology from 1997 to 2005, population and territorial coverage, network launch dates (including launch dates for dual-band GSM 900/1800 networks), infrastructure vendors, infrastructure vendor market shares and average base station density and population penetration. For additional information, contact Elizabeth Harr Bricksin, The Strategis Group (202) 530-7505 or e-mail:

High Speed Internet Service to Reach 16.6 Million Subscribers by 2004
The Yankee Group has released a report, which forecasts that the US market for residential high speed Internet services will reach 3.3 million subscribers by the end of this year and 16.6 million subscribers by 2004. At the end of 1999, the installed base of domestic high speed Internet subscribers totaled 1.4 million with nearly 80 percent of these subscribers using cable modems for access. While the cable industry is expected to continue to lead the market over the next five years, its total share of high speed Internet subscribers is expected to shrink to 42 percent by the end of 2004 as local telephone companies make digital subscriber line (DSL) service more widely available. In addition, approximately 41 percent of US households are expected to have access to cable modem service by the end of this year, while only 24 percent will have DSL access. Nearly two-thirds of PC-equipped homes expressed interest in high speed Internet service and 40 percent of those indicated a willingness to pay up to $40 a month for service. For additional information, contact Kim Vranas, The Yankee Group (617)-880-0214 or e-mail: