Building cabling market pulls a Lazarus

The data communications building cabling market is forecast to resuscitate over the next five years. A new study from FTM Consulting (Hummelstown, PA) points to a market revival, driven by more than 20%-plus growth in fiber cabling.

"For the past three years, the cabling market has been in a severe turndown caused by the economic slowdown restricting capital expenditures for local-area networks in conjunction with cabling market saturation," reports Frank Murawski, president of FTM Consulting. Copper cabling grew at phenomenal rates in the 1990s as the initial LANs using Category 5 copper cabling were installed in larger enterprises. By 1999, most of these large networks were already in place, leading to the saturation of the cabling market. Now, with the economy rebounding, capital expenditures are expected to resume, says Murawski.

Double-digit growth in fiber cabling is not expected to occur until 2005, however, when growth will be driven by the requirements for bottleneck relief at critical network points such as SANs, the adoption of new broadband applications, and the availability of new fiber technologies, including VCSELs and laser-enhanced multimode fibers.

The two largest cabling applications for fiber will be campus and SANs over the forecast period. Fiber to the desktop is also slated for high growth, though it is expected to remain a much smaller market than the other two applications. Riser cabling will continue to be the largest fiber-cabling application over the next five years.

The report, "Fiber Cabling Systems: U.S. Building Market," provides detailed analysis of five major cabling applications, including storage-area networking, campus, riser, fiber to the desk, and fiber to the zone. For more details about the report, visit www.ftmconsultinginc.com.

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