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Bandwidth Demand is Boosting the Global Structured Cabling Market

December 03, 2015

For sheer bandwidth, it's hard to beat the connectivity that cable provides. A new report from Transparency Market Research suggests that cable will be the weapon of choice as providers are faced with ever-rising demands for bandwidth, and the market will explode in response.

The report—titled “Structured Cabling Market – Global Industry Analysis, Trend, Size, Share and Forecast 2015 – 2021”—reveals that the market for structured cabling represented $7.11 billion in 2014. Not bad by itself, but by 2021, that number is set to hit $11.45 billion, and that means a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.1 percent through 2021. The report further notes that the biggest reason for this steady, ongoing growth is the increasing demand for bandwidth.

We all knew that demand for bandwidth was on the rise, but several different components drive this rise. The total numbers of Internet users worldwide is only going up, and those users want access to the full range of services, from streaming video to online gaming. The United Nations' International Telecommunications Union estimates there were three billion Internet users worldwide in 2014, and that number isn't on a downward trend.

Throw in an increasingly mobile workforce and more cloud-based tools—not to mention the ongoing rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart home systems—and the need for more bandwidth is clear. Plus, the cabling market itself includes several subsectors, ranging from fiber cable to copper cable, and a variety of other hardware issues.

Image via Pixabay

The hardware segment dominates the market at 89 percent, with copper cable being the biggest driver of hardware. Growth will be widely dispersed depending on geography, and the residential market is in line for the biggest share. Since the North American market is regarded as a mature market, growth here will be mild yet visible, likely owing to the rise in fiber connectivity. While Europe is the second largest market for structured cable, it will also be a major growth vector due to plans to reduce carbon and electricity consumption.

North America's lighter growth is a bit odd given the changeover from copper to fiber in many places, as well as the installation of fiber in general. However, considering the growth of the wireless market—the use of EZ LTE in rural Minnesota is a clear sign of this—that may limit the growth of structured cabling. After all, cable does its best work in areas of high population density, and North America has a lot of areas where density is low to nonexistent.

Demand for bandwidth will never go away, but with different ways of providing that bandwidth coming to light, structured cable will be one part among many. A big part, granted, but in the end just one part, and that will make for some unstable markets in the near term.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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