Introduction: the global free space communications (FSO) market is expected to grow from $212 million 400 thousand in 2017 to $1 billion 198 million 900 thousand in 2022, and the annual compound growth rate (CAGR) will reach 41.4%.
What is free space optical communication?
Wireless communications are often faced with bandwidth constraints and low speed data transmission problems. However, as a well-known wireless technology in the field of aviation and defense, free space optical communications (FSO) eliminates many of the problems faced by traditional wireless communication systems. The technology is suitable for satellite connection, deep space explorer, remote area communication, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs), aircraft and so on. Free space optical communication is suitable for point to point communication in line of sight. It uses different modulation techniques, such as amplitude and phase modulation, to transform the input information into digital signals, and then to achieve further transmission. The latest trends in free space optical communications are limited to the introduction and development of advanced coding schemes aimed at improving the data flow and quality of communication transmissions.
Free space optical communications: market drivers and limiting factors
Free space optical communication is becoming more and more popular due to its many advantages, including low installation cost, high bandwidth utilization, fast data transmission, and improved connectivity. In addition, free space optical technology is also suitable for military and commercial applications, such as telecommunications. The principle of free space optical communication is the same as optical fiber technology, but it uses air as the medium of transmitting information instead of optical fiber cable. At the same time, the installation of free space optical communications takes only a few hours to install. These are important factors that affect the development of free space optical communications market. However, the free space optical communications market faces some challenges. For example, before the deployment of free space optical communication between two points, there must be no obstructions in the line of sight, such as trees or buildings. In addition, due to fog and atmospheric turbulence, free space propagation may be disturbed. Because of the absorption, scattering and reflection of light waves, the existence of fog will seriously hinder the propagation of light waves. Atmospheric turbulence can cause flicker, which further increases bit error rate. This is also a factor restricting the development of free space optical communications market.
Free space optical communications: Market Segmentation
Free space optical communications market can be subdivided according to components, data types, modulation types, applications, end users and regions. In terms of components, the market can be subdivided into transmitter, receiver, transceiver, modulator, demodulator and so on. The transmitter and receiver are used for one-way communication, while the transceiver is used for two-way communication. Different types of data are transmitted using free space optical communications, including images, sound, and video. From the aspect of modulation, the free space optical communication market can be divided into amplitude, frequency, phase and polarization. In addition, from the application point of view, the market can be subdivided into aerospace and national defense, telecommunications, health care, disaster management, storage area network (SAN) and so on. From the end user point of view, the market can be subdivided into enterprise and commercial market. From a regional perspective, the market can be subdivided into North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Asia Pacific region, Japan, the Middle East and africa.
Free space optical communications: regional prospects
It is expected that North America will dominate the global free space optical communications market from 2017 to 2025. Free space optical communication has been widely used in the aerospace and defense industries in North america. It is expected that the established research centers in Western Europe and Eastern Europe will contribute to the growth of free space optical communications markets in all regions. Due to the increase in government investment, excluding Japan's Asia Pacific region and Japan's free space optical communications market is expected to achieve significant growth in the near future.
Free space optical communication: competitive environment
Free space optical communications market major enterprises include Trimble Inc., fSONA Systems Corp. and LightPointe Communications Inc., etc.. In order to maintain their position in the market, the major enterprises are focused on the acquisition of small enterprises, cooperation and product innovation.
Visible light communication
Visible light communication (VLC) technology is a kind of optical wireless technology, it is a method for data interference. By this technique, light can only be detected in the visible region.
A number of research centers around the world are working to achieve Gigabit Ethernet business and development, and thus expand the scope of communication; this will support the development of visible light communications market in the next few years. Visible light communication technology is still in its innovation stage, because indoor network and positioning service can only provide limited function. In the next few years, visible light communication is expected to become a balancing technology that is applicable to existing wireless system protocols.
Visible light communication is expected to be applied in the following fields, such as Ethernet power supply, smart city, augmented reality, ubiquitous networks, wireless sensor networks, and machine to machine communications.
Visible light communication technology can also reduce the additional operating expenses, such as electricity and maintenance costs. But external light sources, such as light bulbs and sunlight, and opaque materials can interfere with the visible light signal path.
From the aspect of components, the visible optical communication market can be divided into transmitter, modulation, interface, receiver, software, demodulator and link management system. Among them, the receiver includes photodiode receiver, charge coupled device (CCD) and complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensor. Demodulator includes synchronous detector and two stage detector; modulation includes pulse amplitude modulation, pulse width modulation, orthogonal frequency division multiplexing, variable pulse position modulation, frequency shift keying, spatial modulation, color shift keying and pulse position modulation.
Visible light communication market can also be classified according to the needs of applications, such as aerospace, communications, smart stores, casinos, underwater communications, automobiles, medical health and museums. Its applications in the field of medical health include operation room and asset tracking; applications in aerospace include flight network connectivity; applications in underwater communications include information flow in underwater communications. The application of visible light communication in automotive field includes location-based services, communication between vehicle and road communication facilities, advanced traffic management system, inter vehicle communication, advanced passenger information system and advanced public transport system.
Compared with other technologies, some factors that promote the growth of the visible light communication market include more environmentally friendly, cleaner and safer technologies, and less energy consumption. The lack of other similar technologies and consumers' technical consciousness is the factor restricting the development of visible light communication market.
Market analysis of free space optical communication and visible light communication
According to the latest research from the global second largest market research consultancy MarketsandMarkets, the global free space communications (FSO) market is expected to grow from $212 million 400 thousand in 2017 to $1 billion 198 million 900 thousand in 2022, and the annual compound growth rate (CAGR) will reach 41.4%. The main drivers of the FSO market include the last mile connection, FSO's free license, and alternative solutions for overloaded RF technologies for outdoor networks. The visible light communication (VLC) market is expected to grow from $1 billion 300 million in 2017 to $14 billion 910 million in 2022, and CAGR will reach 62.9%. The main factor driving this growth is faster and safer data transmission than other competing technologies; RF spectrum bandwidth shrinking; no bandwidth limitations, less energy consumption; more environmentally friendly, cleaner and safer technologies. Mobile Backhaul and smart storage applications account for the largest share of FSO and VLC markets, respectively.
1) software is expected to be the fastest growing segment of the VLC Market
The software segment of the VLC technology market is expected to grow at the highest rate from 2017 to 2022. This is mainly due to two-way communications expected to occur at the end of 2022; this will increase the amount of software installed, as it will help to operate and control many applications and allow them to be enabled on phones, tablet PCs and many other platforms. Following the software market, the photo detector market is expected to grow at a rate of second in the forecast period (from 2017 to 2022).
2) the United States is the major consumer of FSO and VLC
In 2016, the United States accounted for the largest share of FSO and VLC markets. The huge investment in telecommunications infrastructure, government funding and military spending is the main reason for the region to become the largest share of the FSO market. According to this situation, the government funding and deploying a number of VLC systems in public and commercial places is the main driving force for the United States to become a major consumer of VLC.