The pressure on prices has been evident for years for the suppliers and the channel, as part of the commoditisation of the structured cabling market. As a result, several of the larger system integrators are moving into related areas, such as complex data centres, outsourcing and managed services, intelligent buildings and convergence.
The UK structured cabling market is dominated by unshielded (UTP) cabling systems.
Cat 6 cabling accounts for more than 55% of the market by value, followed by Cat 6A (under 30% in value terms) with sales partly being driven by the need of a future proof installation, and also PoE applications.
Cat 5e (still above 10% measured by value) are mostly used by SMEs and for other applications that require limited bandwidth (such as access controls, intruder alarms, CCTV, etc.). Cat 7/7A projects are still marginal.
As in 2013, OM3 multimode dominated the fibre cable market, accounting for 60% by volume. OM4 sales are still relatively low, and mostly deployed in data centres.