GVR Report cover Dark Fiber Network Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Dark Fiber Network Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Fiber Type (Single Mode, Multi-mode), By Network Type (Metro, Long-haul), By Application (Telecom, Oil & Gas, BFSI, Medical, Railway), And Segment Forecasts, 2023 - 2030

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68038-556-4
  • Number of Pages: 120
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Range: 2017 - 2021
  • Industry: Technology

Report Overview

The global dark fiber network market size accounted for USD 5.49 billion in 2022 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.8% from 2023 to 2030. The technology has emerged as a sustainable solution for various organizations that are focusing on enhanced communication and network management. Continuously increasing penetration of internet services, over the period, has paved the way for the high demand for internet bandwidth. This demand is expected to remain rampant over the forecast period. This is the most significant factor responsible for market growth across the globe. The market is strongly supported by companies with a high reliance on internet connectivity. These networks are highly beneficial for organizations with a high volume of data flow in their operation. These benefits include reduced network latency, scalability, reliability, and enhanced security. In fiber optic communications, fiber optic cables that are not yet put in service by a provider or carrier, are termed as dark fiber or unlit fiber (sometimes known as fiber). 

North America dark fiber network market size, by fiber type, 2020 - 2030 (USD Billion)

These cables are not connected to any optical device and are installed to be used at some point in the future. It is also called a new fiber construction project to be owned by a customer or service provider. In the current market scenario, network service providers are leasing these unused fiber optic cables. During the late 90s, the telecommunication industry was booming, and huge capital was poured into building these fiber-optic networks. That period saw the aggressive laying down of fiber networks along with highways and rail line (i.e., long-haul network type). Similarly, a thousand miles of local or regional network (i.e., metro network type) were laid across large cities and population centers. At the turn of the century, the telecom sector witnessed a meltdown, and these billion-dollar unused fiber network (dark fiber) infrastructures were sold at a meager price by telecom providers to avoid bankruptcy.

Due to the increasing demand for mobile data and the launch of 5G services, telecom service providers are now buying up the available dark fiber and also focusing on building their own. Other factors such as the ever-increasing bandwidth demand of handheld device user audience and mandatory conversion to HD video quality for cable operators are expected to fuel dark fiber network market growth over the forecast period.

The pricing for dark fiber in the U.S. is based on the routes, and locations, and is sometimes plainly arbitrary. Also, it relies on several other parameters such as market competition, market demand, and construction costs in a particular location. Generally, the U.S. dark fiber network pricing has been bifurcated into two major parts, including metro-area and long-haul area fiber.

The dark fiber prices in the metro area are considerably higher than in the long-haul area on a per mile basis. More urban areas’ routes have considerably higher pricing in the metro area than the suburban and exurban areas’ routes. This is due to the rising demand for a fiber network in urban areas. Occasionally, owing to the glut of fiber, the prices of dark fiber networks push down in the urban areas. Moreover, it has been observed that the dark fiber prices in the long-haul areas are more consistent than the metro-area routes.

Fiber Type Insights

The multi-mode segment dominated the market in 2022 and accounted for more than 62.0% share of the global revenue. It is also expected to continue leading the market over the forecast period. This type is best suited for short transmission distances. It is mainly used in video surveillance and Local-area Network (LAN) systems. Single-mode fiber, on the other hand, is best suited for longer transmission distances. It is mainly used in multi-channel television broadcast systems and long-distance telephony. The single-mode segment is anticipated to witness considerable growth over the projected period. This product type is used for long-distance installations ranging from 2 meters to 10,000 meters. It offers lower power loss in comparison to multi-mode. However, it is costlier than multi-mode fibers.

Network Type Insights

Long-haul segment is anticipated to register the highest growth rate over the forecast. The segment continues to gather pace due to its capacity to connect over large distances at low signal intensity. Such long-haul terrestrial networks are widely applied in undersea cabling across long oceanic distances, thus attracting the participation of several organizations in terms of investments. For instance, in October 2021, Zayo Group Holdings Inc has completed three new long-haul dark fiber routes from Denver to Salt Lake City, Atlanta to Dallas, and Eugene to Reedsport. The long-haul network is driven by continuously growing investments, the development of smart cities, and strong competitive dynamics in the market.

Application Insights

In terms of revenue, the telecom segment dominated the market with a share of 42.3% in 2022 and is anticipated to retain its dominance in terms of market size by 2030. Telecommunication is anticipated to present promising growth prospects due to the growing adoption of the 5G technology in communication and data transmission services. Dark fiber enables high-speed data transfer services in both small and long-range communications. Furthermore, increasing cloud-based applications, audio-video services, and Video-on-Demand (VoD) services stimulate demand.

Global dark fiber network market share, by application, 2022 (%)

Medical and military and aerospace application segments are poised to witness significant growth, attributed to the increasing adoption of optic technology devices. Stringent regulations and standards imposed by the regulatory authorities and medical associations are further fueling the market to flourish in the medical sector, eventually driving the overall growth.

Regional Insights

In 2022, North America held the largest market share in terms of revenue with around 28.77%. Some of the most substantial expenditures in building 5G network infrastructure are taking place in the U.S. .The country's strong investments in smart homes, smart industries, and smart city initiatives are likely to contribute to the growth of the regional market throughout the forecast period. Governments of developed countries such as the U.S., the U.K., Germany, China, and Japan are heavily investing in security infrastructure at country levels. Awareness is growing among the rapidly developing economies that aim to strengthen their hold at the global level.

Dark Fiber Network Market Trends by Region

Asia Pacific is anticipated to register the highest growth rate over the forecast. Period. Asia Pacific is spearheading revenue growth owing to technological advancements and large-scale adoption of the technology in the IT and telecommunication and administrative sector. High penetration of the technology in the manufacturing sector and expanding the IT and telecom sectors across the Asia Pacific are strengthening the regional market hold. Moreover, the increasing application of fiber networks in the medical sector is catapulting growth across countries, such as China, Japan, and India, thus propelling the overall demand at a significant pace.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The market participants adopt various strategies, such as mergers and acquisitions, product developments, collaborations, partnerships, and expansions, to cater to customer demands. For instance, in 2021, Colt Technology Services announced a contract of 25-years with the Getlink, to install Colt IQ Network through the Getlink’s Channel Tunnel that will allow the transfer of data in Tbps per fiber. Some of the prominent players operating in the global dark fiber network market are:

  • AT&T Intellectual Property

  • Colt Technology Services Group Limited

  • Comcast

  • Consolidated Communications

  • GTT Communications, Inc.

  • Level 3 Communications, Inc. (CenturyLink, Inc.)

  • NTT Communications Corporation

  • Verizon Communications, Inc.

  • Windstream Communications

  • Zayo Group, LLC

Dark Fiber Network Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2023

USD 5.79 billion

Revenue forecast in 2030

USD 13.45 billion

Growth rate

CAGR of 12.8% from 2023 to 2030

Base year for estimation


Historical Data

2017 - 2021

Forecast period

2023 - 2030

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD billion and CAGR from 2023 to 2030

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Fiber type, network type, application, region

Regional scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; U.K.; Germany; France; Japan; China; India; Australia; Brazil.

Key companies profiled

AT&T Intellectual Property; Colt Technology Services Group Limited; Comcast; Consolidated Communications; GTT Communications, Inc.; Level 3 Communications, Inc. (CenturyLink, Inc.); NTT Communications Corporation; Verizon Communications, Inc.; Windstream Communications; Zayo Group, LLC

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

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Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options


Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2023 to 2030. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global dark fiber network market report based on fiber type, network type, application, and region:

Global Dark Fiber Network Markett Segmentation

  • Fiber Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • Single Mode

    • Multi-mode

  • Network Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • Metro

    • Long-haul

  • Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • Telecom

    • Oil & Gas

    • Military & Aerospace

    • BFSI

    • Medical

    • Railway

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2030)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • U.K.

      • Germany

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

    • South America

      • Brazil
    • Middle East & Africa (MEA)

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