The recently published BSRIA market intelligence study shows that the global structured cabling market declined by three per cent to $6 billion in 2015 and from $6.2 billion in 2014.
The study found that structured cabling installed in Local Area Networks (LAN) in buildings continues to dominate the market accounting for just over 80 per cent of the products sold, while the cabling installed in data centres are just below 20 per cent. The data centre segment has increased year on year except for 2012 and fell by just over two per cent in 2015. The decrease seen in the LAN market in 2015 was slightly higher than the decline experienced in data centres and followed several years with no or very limited growth.
The cabling industry – and particularly the LAN segment – which is dominated by copper products – continues to see commoditisation of cabling with increasing sales of low cost brands sold as distributor's private labels and solutions supplied by low cost suppliers.
Lone Hansen, WMI Manager – I.T. Cable Group, BSRIA, said: “The products installed in data centres are more than two thirds fibre products and the uptake of fibre continues to increase driven particularly by large and cloud data centres. Most of the hyper scale data centres are 90 per cent – 100 per cent fibre and both medium and large data centres are seeing an increase in use of fibre.
Copper cabling continues to be installed in computer rooms and small data centres and are more common in co-location data centres compared to enterprise data centres as co-location data centres in general are more cost-focused.”
Sales of pre-terminated fibre units (cassettes, connectors and trunk cables) have increased significantly year on year since BSRIA started collecting the sales figures in 2011. The growth was 24 per cent in 2013, 19 per cent in 2014 and one per cent in 2015.
Sales of Cat 6A continue to increase and accounts for 18 per cent of the cabling solutions sold by volume in 2015. However, the uptake varies significantly depending on the where in the world the cabling is installed. The uptake is relatively low in Americas and AsiaPac, while Europe and the Middle East have a much higher usage of Cat 6A solutions.
Cat 5e is still very much sold in Asia Pacific and America with close to a third of all cables shipped in those regions, while sales only accounts for 15 per cent in Europe and seven per cent in the Middle East and South Africa.
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The market estimation covers 33 countries and one region – South East Asia (SEA). The market in 17 countries and SEA researched in 2015/16 are estimated in local currency and US dollars and the strong dollar exchange rate has reduced the dollar market values in many countries and, therefore, boosted the decline to three per cent.
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