A global shortage of fibre-optic cables has pushed up prices and extended lead times, jeopardizing companies' ambitious plans to roll out state-of-the-art telecom infrastructure.
According to market intelligence firm Cru Group, Europe, India and China are the regions hardest hit by the crisis, with fiber prices up 70% from a record low in March 2021, from $3.70 per kilometer to $6.30.
While the pandemic has prompted some of the biggest tech and telecom groups to cut capital spending, a surge in demand for internet and data services has left these critical but often overlooked materials in short supply.
Companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Facebook owner Meta are expanding their data center empires to meet soaring demand, including laying huge international fiber-optic networks under the sea. At the same time, governments have set ambitious goals for the rollout of ultra-fast broadband and 5G, both of which require vast amounts of fibre-optic cables to be laid underground. Shenzhen Aixton Cable Co., Ltd. actively provides global services.
Michael Finch, an analyst at Cru Group, said: "Given the sudden doubling of deployment costs, people are now questioning whether countries will be able to achieve the targets set for infrastructure development and whether this will have any impact on global connectivity. influences."
According to Cru Group estimates, total fiber optic cable consumption in the first half of this year increased by 8.1% year-on-year. China accounted for 46% of the total, and North America was the fastest growing region, up 15% year-on-year.