According to a recent report published by BSRIA and World Information Technologies, the world market for structured cabling continues to grow by 4% annually. By 2003, analysts project this market will hit the $8 billion mark. As you can see in the accompanying figures, all sectors are expanding; with fiber components showing the fastest growth at nearly 9% annually.

What's fueling this increase? The study finds this growth is due to increasing use of fiber in the backbone and more campus installations. Fiber to the desk is showing significant growth but from a very small base.

The United States dominates the structured cabling market with 56% share. However, as most Fortune 1000 companies have completed large cabling projects, growth has slowed to 3% to 4% annually. One interesting characteristic of the North America market is plenum cable accounts for three-quarters of copper cable and half of all fiber shipments. This percentage is much higher than the rest of the world, where many find plenum a negligible solution due to its higher cost.

An analysis of the largest countries in the world confirms the U.S. dominance, but the report also contains some surprises; notably the strengths of Australia and Sweden. UTP (unshielded twisted pair) is completely dominant as the controlling horizontal cable worldwide. World growth is slow at 4% annually with the U.S. market accounting for 59% of world UTP cable.

Although STP (shielded twisted pair) is losing share in most countries, globally it's growing by 6.3% annually. This is because Germany alone accounts for more than 58% of the world STP/PiMF market by volume. Its growth is at an aggressive 11% annually. Demand for high-performance cable is increasing, and most international suppliers are now actively promoting proposed Cat. 6 solutions. The future seems less certain for proposed Cat. 7 solutions due to issues relating to new connectors and field testers.

For FTP (foil twisted pair) technology, Germany is again very strong with 43% share of the world market followed by France at 15% and the UK at 14%. SFTP accounts for 56% of the German market by volume and is anticipated to increase by 5% to 6% per year compared to 11% for STP/PiMF.

For more information on this report, e-mail Andrew Giles at andrewg@bsria.co.uk or Lone Hansen at loneh@bsria.co.uk or visit www.bsria.co.uk.