Wuhan fiber dominance spells trouble for 5G

April 06, 2020 // By Peter Clarke
Wuhan fiber dominance spells trouble for 5G
More than 50 percent of the world's optical fiber and fiber-optical cables are made in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to market analysis firm TrendForce.

Most suppliers of optical transceivers and 5G components are located around Wuhan in Hubei province, the firm added, pointing out that the pandemic is likely to have major impact on the development of 5G infrastructure an rollout of 5G services in 1H20.

The 5G transition requires more than double the total of fiber-optic cables used in 4G infrastructure, TrendForce said.

TrendForce observed that communications companies such as Fiberhome, YOFC and HTGD are resuming manufacturing but pointed out that transportation and logistics are key to optical communications equipment production.

With that still largely disabled and international flights cancelled shipments remain greatly reduced. If this continues through the 2Q20 it will hinder the global build-out of 5G networks and data centers. That lack of infrastructure will likely lead to a slowdown in 5G smartphone sales in 2020, TrendForce said.

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