Demand for optical fiber grew at a steady pace worldwide in 1998, driven by countries like South Africa, which is rapidly expanding its telecommunications infrastructure. That's the finding of the annual analysis of the fiber and photonics industry conducted by Corning Inc. Overall, the worldwide market grew 10 percent over 1997. In North America the market segments grew by 20 percent. Internationally, Japan showed a 25 percent decline in fiber demand and Latin America showed a decrease of 40 percent. South Africa posted the most dramatic increase, at 40 percent, while China, South Korea and India collectively posted a 10 percent increase.