Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core has attached great importance to the construction of new information and communication infrastructure, emphasizing the need to vigorously build “Digital China” and “Network Power”, which has pointed out the direction for the high-quality development of my country’s information and communication industry. Provides a basic follow. Fiber optic cable is an important carrier of information and communication transmission, and one of the foundations of the information base of the digital economy, playing an irreplaceable basic strategic role. In the past ten years, my country has moved from a large optical fiber and cable production country to a strong optical communication country. The infrastructure capacity has been greatly improved, which has strongly supported the development of new information technology and the construction of communication networks, and laid a solid foundation for promoting the new journey of the digital economy.
Optical fiber and cable have achieved leapfrog development from manufacturing to optical network construction
The high bandwidth, low attenuation and many other advantages of optical fiber make optical fiber communication technology develop rapidly all over the world. The growth process of China’s optical fiber and cable manufacturing industry from scratch, from small to large, and from weak to strong has practiced the road of scientific development. In recent years, the construction of “broadband China”, “optical into copper”, “dual Gigabit” and “network power” has boosted the leapfrog development of the optical fiber and cable industry.
In the past ten years, driven by basic network construction, fixed broadband access and mobile traffic market demand growth, my country’s optical fiber market has achieved great development, and has built the world’s largest optical fiber network. It is a veritable optical fiber and cable production country. The annual output of optical cable has grown steadily from 185 million core-km in 2012 to 322 million core-km in 2021, an increase of 73.9%. From January to August 2022, the output of optical cables will be 232 million core kilometers, a year-on-year increase of 11.7%, maintaining a relatively high growth rate. As of August 2022, a total of 2.98 billion core-kilometers of optical cables have been produced in the past ten years, and the output of optical cables ranks first in the world.
my country is not only a big producer of optical fiber and cable, but also a big trading country, with the export volume of optical fiber and cable ranking first in the world. In 2021, the total export volume of my country’s optical fiber and cable is 4.9 times that of 2013. Among them, the export volume of optical cables in 2021 will be 404,000 tons, with an export value of 16.84 billion yuan, 2.2 times and 1.7 times that of 2017; 4.7 times and 2.0 times of the year. Leading domestic optical fiber and cable enterprises are actively deploying overseas. The export volume of optical fiber and cable in my country has grown steadily. In the first eight months of 2022, the export trade volume of optical fiber and cable increased by 22.7% year-on-year.
While the optical fiber and cable industry is developing rapidly, new breakthroughs have been made in my country’s optical fiber network construction. The length of optical cable lines has increased from 14.81 million kilometers in 2012 to 57.91 million kilometers in June 2022, an increase of 2.9 times. The average annual compound growth rate of optical cable line lengths from 2012 to 2021 will reach 15.7%. my country has built the world’s largest and technologically advanced fiber-based fixed communication network and mobile communication network. All prefecture-level cities in the country have built optical network cities, especially the last mile construction of optical cables has developed rapidly in the past ten years. The length of access network optical cables has increased from 6.69 million kilometers in 2012 to 36.25 million kilometers in June 2022, an increase of 4.4 times, with an average annual compound growth rate of more than 20%. The proportion of access network optical cables has also increased from ten years ago. 45.2% increased to the current 62.6%. my country has basically realized fiber-to-the-home, and is gradually developing towards the goals of fiber-to-the-room (FTTR) and fiber-to-the-desk (FTTD) proposed in the “14th Five-Year Plan”. The construction of optical fiber and cable has also effectively promoted the construction of my country’s rural broadband network. my country has historically realized the “village-to-village access to broadband” in administrative villages across the country, making an important contribution to narrowing the “digital divide” between urban and rural areas.
The development of fiber optic cable has enabled the exponential growth of fixed Internet access bandwidth
Over the past decade, under the promotion of national industrial policies such as 4G/5G network construction, broadband China, new infrastructure, and dual Gigabit, the construction of my country’s broadband network has been accelerated, and the process of fiber optic and high-speed conversion of fixed Internet access users has been accelerating. The inbound bandwidth has achieved exponential growth from 10M to 100M and then to Gigabit.
Among the 175 million fixed Internet access users in China in 2012, 81.2% had a bandwidth between 2M and 8M, and only 13.1% had a bandwidth of 8M or above. Today, ten years later, as of the end of August 2022, the number of fixed broadband access users has reached 571 million, an increase of 2.3 times, of which 95.0% are optical fiber access (FTTH/O) users. The proportion of users with 100M and above reached 93.8%, and 12.4% of them had access bandwidth of 1000M and above. The access bandwidth of fixed Internet users has achieved exponential growth, and the scale of gigabit bandwidth users has grown rapidly in recent years, and the proportion has continued to increase.
Behind the rapid growth of broadband user scale and bandwidth is the development and construction of optical fiber networks and the continuous improvement of coverage capabilities. In 2012, there were 115 million fiber optic access (FTTH/O) ports, accounting for 22.7% of Internet access ports. By August 2022, the number of fiber optic access (FTTH/O) ports will reach 985 million, an increase of 770 million. The proportion of Internet access ports has increased to 95.5%, the technology type of Internet broadband access ports has undergone fundamental changes, and access ports have basically realized full-fiber optics. As of August 2022, the number of 10G passive optical network (PON) ports with gigabit network service capabilities in my country will reach 12.14 million, and gigabit fiber optic broadband network coverage and service capabilities will increase rapidly.
The development of optical fiber and cable has strongly supported the construction of mobile networks and the development of Internet applications
The rapid growth of the total length of optical fiber and cable has supported the accelerated breadth and depth coverage of mobile communication base stations, provided technical support for the increase of fronthaul and intermediate transmission capacity of the mobile communication bearer network, and strongly supported the construction of my country’s 4G and 5G mobile communication networks. my country’s mobile communication base stations increased from 2.07 million in 2012 to 10.62 million in August 2022, and the base station scale increased by 4.1 times. From 2012 to 2021, the average annual compound growth rate of base station scale was 19.1%. In 2012, there were 820,000 3G base stations, accounting for 39.7% of the total number of mobile base stations, and 233 million 3G users, accounting for 20.9% of mobile phone users. This decade is the stage of rapid development of 3G, 4G, and 5G in my country. In 2021, there will be 5.9 million 4G base stations in my country; as of August 2022, the total number of 5G base stations will reach 2.102 million, accounting for 19.8% of the total number of mobile base stations, and 4.92 5G users million households, accounting for 29.4% of mobile phone users. my country has built the world’s largest and most advanced 5G network, covering all prefecture-level cities, county towns, and more than 92% of townships and towns in the country. The mobile network has achieved a leap from “3G breakthrough” to “4G synchronization” to “5G leadership” , The construction of optical fiber network has strongly supported the development of my country’s mobile communications.
The development of optical fiber transmission network facilitates the rapid rise and vigorous development of mobile Internet applications. The mobile Internet access traffic has increased from 770 million GB in 2012 to 221.6 billion GB in 2021, an increase of 286 times, with an average annual compound growth rate of 87.6%; the monthly mobile Internet traffic per user (DOU) has increased from 98MB in 2012 15.2GB by August 2022, an increase of 158 times. At present, mobile Internet applications such as mobile video, mobile music, mobile games, mobile IM, mobile payment and e-commerce have penetrated into people’s daily life, and Internet applications are further integrating with the real economy to promote the rapid development of my country’s digital economy.
The construction of network infrastructure such as optical fiber and cable and the development of new information and communication technologies have strongly supported the development of various communication services, bringing about tremendous changes in people’s lives and production. Since 2015, my country has successively canceled domestic long-distance roaming charges for mobile phones, traffic “roaming” charges, etc. The average tariff per unit bandwidth of fixed broadband and mobile network traffic has dropped by more than 95%, and the average tariff per unit bandwidth of corporate broadband and dedicated lines has dropped by more than 70%. Various fee reduction measures have benefited more than 1 billion users per year on average, with a cumulative profit of more than 700 billion yuan. In 2021, the average download rate of fixed broadband will be 62.6Mbit/s, an increase of 16.7 times over 2013; the average download rate of mobile broadband will be 59.3Mbit/s, an increase of 4.0 times over 2016. The construction of optical fiber network has brought about a substantial increase in network speed, which has played a supporting role in improving people’s quality of life and reducing costs and increasing efficiency for enterprises. With the improvement of the service capabilities of the information transmission industry and the vigorous development of the new Internet economy, my country is steadily moving forward on the road to a network power.
The development of the optical fiber and cable industry has embarked on a road of independent innovation, and has achieved a number of world-leading optical communication companies
Around 2012, my country’s optical fiber and cable industry was in a state of being large but not strong, with overcapacity at the mid-to-low end and insufficient high-end R&D. At the same time, it faced low-price dumping by foreign companies. The China Association of Communications Enterprises coordinated and organized Chinese optical fiber industry enterprises to initiate 14 anti-dumping cases against optical fiber and optical fiber prefabricated rods. With the strong support of the Ministry of Commerce and the joint efforts of related enterprises, all 14 cases were won, protecting the legitimate rights and interests of national enterprises , has created a good external environment for the development of my country’s optical fiber and optical fiber preform industry, and also provided greater market space for my country’s optical fiber companies.
After ten years of development, the optical fiber and cable industry has advanced in the fields of optical fiber preform technology, ultra-low attenuation G.654.E optical fiber, multi-core optical fiber, fiber-to-the-room (FTTR) solutions, terminal gigabit optical interconnection products, and special optical cables. Strengthening research and development, taking independent innovation as the core competitiveness, is transforming from a big optical fiber and cable production country to a powerful country. According to the incomplete statistics of the patent database of the State Intellectual Property Office, there are nearly 50,000 patents related to optical fiber and cable, ranking among the top in the world. At present, the core rod manufacturing generally adopts four mainstream processes: improved chemical vapor deposition (MCVD), plasma chemical vapor deposition (PCVD), axial vapor deposition (VAD) and off-rod chemical vapor deposition (OVD). Domestically, PCVD, VAD, and OVD processes are the main technologies, and domestic leading enterprises have their own core advantages in optical rod technology.
In the new wave of development of the optical fiber and cable industry in the past ten years, a number of optical cable companies in my country, such as Changfei Optical Fiber, FiberHome Communications, Hengtong Optoelectronics, Fortis Group, Zhongtian Technology, etc. have continued to grow and develop, and their technical strength and product competitiveness have continued to grow. Ascension, has developed into a leading enterprise in the global industry. In Hubei, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Shandong, Sichuan and other provinces, a group of optical fiber and cable enterprise clusters have been established, forming a complete industrial chain.
The development of the optical fiber and cable industry is inseparable from the correct guidance of the national industrial policy. In 2013, the state issued the “Broadband China” strategy and implementation plan to vigorously support the optimization and upgrading of urban and rural broadband network infrastructure. In 2018, the national access network basically realized optical fiber, the total length of optical cable lines ranked first in the world, and the national optical network city was fully completed. A series of documents such as the “14th Five-Year Plan for National Informatization” and “Double Gigabit” Coordinated Development Action Plan (2021-2023) formulated by the state set new goals for the development of the industry and clarified the development of gigabit users. And optical fiber network construction and other requirements, further promote the development of optical fiber and cable industry. In addition, the launch of the national “East Counting West Counting” project and the trunk optical cable upgrading project of telecom operators have brought new market space and development opportunities for the development of the optical fiber and cable industry.