The recently published BSRIA market intelligence study shows that the hot topic in the cabling industry is convergence and the impact of digitalisation. With the launch of its ‘Digital Ceiling’ Cisco has, with its many partners, boosted the level of interest in convergence, and cabling suppliers and channel players are expecting to see an increase in demand for cabling and, in particular, for higher specification cabling.
The study found that the worldwide structured cabling market declined by 3% (measured in US$) in 2015, while the increase in copper cables sold by volume was very low – indicating some competitive pressure in the market. A small increase in sales of copper cables is expected in 2016.
Overall, “not much” growth is expected from sales of cabling for data points. The main area of future growth is expected to be in the cabling of Wireless Access Points (WAPs) and other services also called ‘Distributed Building Services’ (DBS) such as CCTV, access points, access control, AV, whiteboards, digital signage, lighting and BACS/HVAC controls.
Most of the large converged intelligent buildings are new-build or major refurbishments in verticals like retail/shopping centres, high-end offices, universities, hospitals, airports, sport stadiums, governmental buildings, hotels and luxury departments.
Commenting on the study, BSRIA’s WMI Manager – IT Cable Group, Lone Hansen said: “The impact of convergence on the structured cabling market will continue to be limited as the growth in WAPs and DBS is coming from a small base. The main factor that could boost the market is the performance of solutions for the retrofit market. Most of the buildings in the western world date from before 1990 and only 15-20% have been built since 1990. An estimated 20–25% of non-residential buildings in the western world have a sophisticated enterprise management system.
“Most buildings have LAN networks, although the standard and quality will vary; and the option of adding new products and services to existing networks are limited.
“The uptake of IP products has increased, particularly for BACS, CCTV and access control. However many of these solutions are installed as stand-alone solutions and not converged. This is partly due to the silos in the construction industry which each area generally tender separately, which leads to a lack of holistic thinking.”