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Corning to Present 2005 Optical Fiber Market Overview; Optical Fiber Market Grew 15 Percent in 2005; Fiber-to-the-Home Deployments Continue to Drive Fiber Demand.

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW) will provide its perspective on the 2005 worldwide optical fiber market with a focus on global fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) activity. The 25th annual Optical Fiber Briefing will be held today via conference call and live audio webcast in conjunction with the OFC/NFOEC Conference in Anaheim, Calif., at 8:30 a.m. PST.

The overview, presented by Eric S. Musser, vice president and general manager of Corning Optical Fiber, will include a breakdown of fiber volume demand by region and application. Musser will also address Corning's 2005 telecommunications segment performance, its plan for 2006 and provide an update on Corning fiber, cable, hardware and equipment product developments.

2005 Fiber Market

Musser will say the total 2005 worldwide fiber market grew approximately 15 percent to 68 million kilometers versus last year's market of about 58 million fiber kilometers. Musser will attribute the growth to robust demand for broadband internet connections, including FTTH. He will add that North America and China were the two largest fiber markets and represented more than 50 percent of the world's demand.

In a breakdown by region, Musser will say the North American market grew approximately 30 percent year-over-year driven primarily by the full-year impact of Verizon's FiOS(TM) project, as well as additional deep-fiber deployments by other regional bell operating companies. Another driver was the rural local exchange carriers' continued steady build out of FTTH, primarily to add video capability to their communications networks.

Musser will say China represented about 20 percent of worldwide demand and experienced 10 percent growth versus 2004, which was driven by network investment at China Mobile. He will add that China has become one of the most price-challenged markets worldwide due to excess optical fiber manufacturing capacity and a centrally controlled tender process.

Western Europe, representing 15 percent of the worldwide demand, increased by approximately 10 percent driven primarily by increased activity from the PTTs, who are upgrading their networks to keep pace with broadband demand.

Japan, representing 15 percent of the worldwide demand, increased 15 percent following a 40 percent decrease in 2004. Musser will say this was driven by stronger demand from NTT for their FTTH network build and competitive FTTH network activity from power utility companies.

"Other Asia," which represented 10 percent of the worldwide demand, experienced moderate year-over-year growth primarily due to broadband deployments in South Korea and backbone and metro builds in India and Pakistan. The "Rest of World" segment, which comprised 5 percent of the worldwide demand, was flat in 2005 versus 2004.

Musser will continue by breaking out the estimated 2005 optical fiber demand and growth rates by application. He will say that in 2005 metro and access represented 85 percent of global fiber demand. "Following growth of 20 percent in 2004 the access segment increased about 25 percent in 2005, greater than any other segment," Musser will add. "Access now represents a full 50 percent of total worldwide demand and we believe it will continue to be the principle growth segment."

Musser will say metro demand grew approximately 10 percent. He will add that the metro fiber segment in North America, Western Europe and China continued to grow as broadband subscribers increased and drove the need for more bandwidth.

The long-haul terrestrial/submarine segment accounted for 10 percent of the total worldwide demand and the segment was flat. Musser will say there were some limited extensions of existing long-haul networks in North America and Western Europe, but that long-haul demand continues to come from emerging markets such as Latin America, Russia and the Middle East. He will add that the submarine segment saw solid growth in 2005, although off a very small base, as most fiber inventories were consumed in 2004.

The premises market, accounting for 5 percent of the total worldwide demand, grew by about 5 percent.

Telecommunications Segment Review

Musser will briefly review the 2005 results for Corning's Telecommunications segment. He will note that Corning achieved most of its objectives in 2005 including continued improvements in financial performance. "The Telecommunications segment was profitable, it was a top cash contributor for Corning in 2005 and sales increased year-over-year driven by growth in each of our businesses: optical fiber, cable and hardware and equipment," Musser will say.

While addressing the Corning Telecommunications segment plan for 2006, Musser will say the company will continue to focus on financial performance and pursue the FTTx opportunity through innovation. "Corning is unique in that we are positioned to optimize cost and performance across all three core elements of the passive plant with fiber, cable and hardware and equipment," Musser will add.

Product Innovation

Musser will say that innovation continues to be important to the access space and Corning continued its legacy of innovation by bringing over 20 new fiber, cable, hardware and equipment products to market in 2005.

He will add that the company delivered on its promise to develop a new bend-optimized optical fiber for the access segment. "This new fiber is one of the key enablers for products Corning is launching for FTTx applications," Musser will add. "The company also developed a new coating for its optical fiber that is more bend tolerant, another critical feature in today's networks and in new cable designs."

Musser will also point out that Corning made a significant enhancement to LEAF(R) optical fiber, the world's most widely deployed non-zero dispersion-shifted fiber, by further improving the already industry leading polarization mode dispersion (PMD) of the product. This improvement will enable networks to achieve ultra-high data rates.

Finally, Musser will say the company is launching Vascade(R) EX1000 fiber, a new ultra-low loss optical fiber for the submarine market that will enable longer reach and lower network costs. "Corning started the optical fiber industry 35-years ago with the invention of the first low-loss optical fiber for optical communications and today we are launching a fiber with attenuation 100 times lower than that initial fiber," he will say.

Conference Call Information

To access the conference call, dial (210) 234-0005. The password is briefing and the leader is Ken Sofio. A replay of the call will begin approximately one hour after the call ends and will run through 8:00 p.m. PST, Tuesday, March 21.

To listen to the replay, dial (203) 369-1270, no pass code is required. To listen to a live audio webcast of the call, please go to Corning's Web site and follow the instructions: The audio webcast will be archived for one year following the call.

About Corning Incorporated

Corning Incorporated ( is a diversified technology company that concentrates its efforts on high-impact growth opportunities. Corning combines its expertise in specialty glass, ceramic materials, polymers and the manipulation of the properties of light, with strong process and manufacturing capabilities to develop, engineer and commercialize significant innovative products for the telecommunications, flat panel display, environmental, semiconductor, and life sciences industries.

Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve a variety of business risks and other uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include the possibility of changes or fluctuations in global economic conditions; currency exchange rates; product demand and industry capacity; competitive products and pricing; availability and costs of critical components and materials; new product development and commercialization; order activity and demand from major customers; capital spending by larger customers in the telecommunications industry and other business segments; the mix of sales between premium and non-premium products; possible disruption in commercial activities due to terrorist activity and armed conflict; ability to obtain financing and capital on commercially reasonable terms; acquisition and divestiture activities; the level of excess or obsolete inventory; the ability to enforce patents; product and components performance issues; and litigation. These and other risk factors are identified in Corning's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the day that they are made, and Corning undertakes no obligation to update them in light of new information or future events.
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Comment:Corning to Present 2005 Optical Fiber Market Overview; Optical Fiber Market Grew 15 Percent in 2005; Fiber-to-the-Home Deployments Continue to Drive Fiber Demand.
Publication:Business Wire
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Date:Mar 7, 2006
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