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India and China shine in the global structured cabling marketJune 2009

In spite of the current economic downturn the structured cabling markets are still growing in various countries worldwide in 2009. In 2008, the global market for structured cabling reached US$5.6 billion, representing a 5.3 per cent increase from 2007 partly due to price increase on copper products mid year. The market value covers structured cabling installed in LAN and Data Centres in manufacturer selling prices.

Figure 1. The largest markets for structured cabling in 2008 (US$ million)

With 33 per cent market share, the US market for structured cabling remains the largest in the world. In second place is Germany which accounts for over nine per cent of the global market by value, showing approximately 17 per cent growth from the previous year. China has overtaken the UK and is now the third largest market with close to eight per cent market share. The Russian market increased considerably in 2008 moving from the 12th largest market to 8th, but a drastic decline in sales is expected in Russia in 2009.

India and China remain the two fastest growing markets; the Indian market increased by 33.6 per cent by value in 2008. Well-known industry players in the Indian market such as Tyco Electronics, DiigiLink, Molex, Schneider Electric, and Belden have grown at an incredible rate in the past year. High growth levels in this market can be attributed to the increase in new non-residential construction and the increase in the uptake of expensive copper products, in particular Cat 6 and Cat 6A.

Figure 2. The cabling market segmented by LAN and DC applications, US$ million

For the first time, the BSRIA reports include an estimate of structured cabling installed in data centres. Approximately $750 million or 13% of the structured cabling was in 2008 installed in data centres compared to 87% in LAN.

BSRIA's study also highlighted that the value of the fibre connectivity has increased as a high proportion is being installed in data centres. In 2008 fibre connectivity accounted for almost seven per cent of the market compared to almost four per cent in 2007.

The data centre segment is enjoying a slightly higher growth rate than cabling installed in LAN. In the UK, data centre cabling market has grown significantly over the last few years and is estimated at £35 - 40 million (US$53 million) in 2008, including all copper and fibre cables and connectivity. The UK data centre market accounts for 18-20 per cent of the total UK structured cabling market.

Cat 5e cable accounts for 46% of the cable sales by volume and continues to be in demand in most countries accounting for more than half the market by volume in the Latin American region and most of Asia Pacific. Sales of Cat 5e also dominate the Eastern European market with 79 per cent penetration rate in Ukraine and 70 per cent in Hungary. The only region where sales of Cat 5e products have been phased out is the German speaking countries and the Middle East.

The penetration of Cat 6A channel increased in 2008 and a number of countries showed take-up rates of 5 - 10 per cent by volume. Only a few countries such as Kuwait, Belgium and Russia have more than 10 per cent. The main application for Cat 6A cabling is data centre applications. Category 7 channel is insignificant in most countries and the penetration rate is only relatively high in Austria and Germany. In terms of value of the Cat 7 channel market Germany, France and Austria are leading. A significant amount of Cat 7 cable are sold with Cat 6 or Cat 6A connectivity in the Germanic countries, but this is not included as the measure is installations of is end to end channel solutions.

UTP cable continues its global dominance accounting for 85 per cent by volume and 79 per cent by value of all cable sold in 2008; the US enjoys the largest share in the global UTP market with 28 per cent of the market. Shielded cables have continued its growth with an increase by 27% for STP cables and 10% for FTP cables by value. 2008 was a good year for OM3 multimode fibre cable; sales increased in most countries as the end-users want the higher bandwidth and the price premium is not excessive.

Statistical data in this article is quoted from the World Market for Structured Cabling study, published in April 2009. For more information on the availability and costs of these reports contact Tim Page +44 (0) 1344 465629.