Behold, your next billion dollar market: The humble Ethernet cable

Wired: Fiber, copper networks. Tired: Flimsy Wi-Fi. Expired: Smoke signals, carrier pigeon

Global spending on Ethernet cables will soon cross the $1bn threshold, say analysts.

A forecast report from Allied Market Research projects that by 2022, businesses will be shelling out more than a billion dollars annually on copper and fiber cables to transmit data and power.

The figures include the spend on fiber and copper cables used in connecting both LANs and data center nodes.

This despite the ongoing march toward high-bandwidth wireless networks and the use of mobile devices for computing tasks previously the sole domain of PCs.

Why, then, is wired Ethernet cable spending set to increase at a 14.3 per cent rate? Allied says that a combination of the growth of data centers, the rise in the number of IoT connections, and the introduction of power over Ethernet (PoE) systems all mean that companies will be spending more on cables.

Much of the growth is slated to take place in China, where the rapid expansion in the nation's tech sector and investment in data centers will drive the need for optical networking cables in particular. The entire Asia-Pacific market is expected to account for around 35 per cent of the world's cable spending.

Europe was also tabbed as a strong market, particularly in the industrial sector where growing connectivity of appliances means larger networks and the need for cables. In traditional network settings such as offices, the introduction of PoE technologies will also help drive a healthy appetite for networking cables.

As a result, over the next six years the analyst house predicts that spending will go up, and will top at over $22bn in 2022. However, ultimately Allied notes that the traditional shortcomings of wired networks – cost and the physical limitations of running cable – will continue to hold the market back. ®

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