Manufacturers of fibre optic cables for telecoms were still pleased with a strong sales boom last April, but since then the business has deteriorated. Leading manufacturers in this field, such as Nexans or Acome, saw their deliveries decline in the third quarter. This is at least what the Syndicat professionnel des fabricants de fils et câbles électriques et de communication (Sycabel) notes "The very sharp slowdown in the delivery of optical fibre cables, of the order of 20% in the third quarter of 2019 - and this for the first time since the third quarter of 2011 - is causing concern, even as deployments in France are accelerating, its members deplore. This sudden drop - even interruption - in deliveries raises serious concerns among our ranks, both in terms of industrial management and employment and the sustainability of investments made in France".
Why are orders not following as fibre network deployments are progressing well? According to the Sycabel, many players in the deployment of fibre now source their supplies from China, and to a lesser extent from South Korea. "These customs entries reach a very high level in July 2019 and represent 45% of Sycabel's optical fibre cable production, compared to 13% in 2017 and 23% in 2018".
Jacques de Heere, CEO of Acome and vice-president of the Sycabel, is looking grey. "The factories are running at a slower pace, and some of them will close by the end of the year [...] we have slowed down our production very much. Over the past year, it has been more than halved".
While it is not prohibited to buy Chinese cables, Jacques de Heere and the Sycabel have "serious doubts" about the fact that these foreign products comply with the strict specifications imposed on French players. "We want everyone to be subject to the same rules," continues Jacques de Heere. The leader is wielding the risk that some territories may end up with networks of poor quality, less efficient, less sustainable, and more likely to fail.
Source : La Tribune