Technological shifts, demand for high-speed, reliable communication drive growth of the Cat 7A and fiber SCS markets
Infrastructure projects and expansion in capacities from Government & Education, IT-ITeS, BFSI and Manufacturing sectors to sustain positive growth trend
Bangalore India’s premier diversified information technology, telecoms and business advisory firm CyberMedia Research expects the India Structured Cabling Solutions market to grow at 43.4% in 2011 (over 2010) to touch revenues of Rs 1,927.7 Crore. Of this, copper cables and components would contribute Rs. 1,540.4 Crore while fiber cables and components would contribute Rs 387.3 Crore.
Despite the global economic recession that prevailed during the last 2-3 years, the India SCS market has continued on a growth path. The total India SCS market, which includes fiber cable and components and copper cables and components stood at Rs. 1,345 Crore at the end of 2010. The market is likely to grow strongly in 2011 with ongoing implementation of many new projects in the IT-ITeS, BFSI, Manufacturing and Government sectors, with a gradual slowing down in 2012 and beyond. In the five-year period between 2010 and 2015, the overall India SCS market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.8% to touch revenues of nearly Rs 3,315 Crore.
Table 1. India Structured Cabling Solutions (SCS) Market: Size and Growth Forecast, 2010-2015 (Rs. Crore)
Source: CyberMedia Research (CMR), 2011
According to, Anirban Banerjee, Associate Vice President, Research and Advisory Services, CyberMedia Research, “With increasing IT adoption among a large number of Indian enterprises, there has been a sharp rise in the level of business intelligence data generated. Fast paced changes in the external business environment coupled with a proliferation of IT is driving Indian enterprises to look for a robust cabling infrastructure.”
“Organizational growth, use of converged networks, new enterprise applications, demand for data centers and network virtualization have served to increase the importance of structured cabling solutions (SCS), the ‘plumbing’ of datacenters and corporate networks, in India in recent years,” Anirban further added.
TE Connectivity (formerly Tyco Electronics) led the overall India SCS market in the first quarter of 2011 (January-March 2011) with a factory revenue share of 32.2%, Digilink came in second at 15.8%, while Molex and Systimax were statistically tied for third spot with 11.3% share each.
Technology shifts and market developments
In the copper SCS segment, Indian enterprises now increasingly prefer Cat 6 and Cat 6A as compared to Cat 5e. Cat 6 is the dominant cabling solution deployed across major industry verticals. Despite the advantages of using Cat 7A cabling like higher bandwidth of up to 600 MHz, and lower cost as compared to using a fiber LAN, enterprises are not yet willing to invest in Cat 7A. The reason for this is not that the India market is not prepared for adopting Cat 7A or that there is no demand, but because Cat 7A installation involves a cumbersome process. Cat 7A cables are heavy with much larger cable diameter than Cat 6A. The latter category of SCS are also 10G compliant and currently widely in use in India for 10G backbone cabling. Management and termination of Cat 7A cables require a lot of time and expertise, which could otherwise be better used in installing an easier to use cabling system.
As the price of copper has been fluctuating in international commodity markets over the last couple of years and with rising international crude oil prices, SCS cables are getting more expensive by the day. Most vendors, finding it hard to keep prices within reasonable limits have already resorted to a hike in order to shield themselves from shrinking margins. In spite of these issues, Cat 7A cabling solutions are slowly gaining traction.
“Cat 7A delivers 40G on copper, which is seen as ideal for deployment in data centers. Cat 6A has a technology barrier of 10G. The most compelling feature of the Cat 7A is the design, which allows a technology upgradation path that is backward compatible with the existing Cat 5e / Cat 6 / Cat 6A solutions and offers a good RoI to enterprises,” stated Subhajit Kumar, Lead Analyst, India Networking Equipment Market, CyberMedia Research.
At the same time, more and more users are slowly upgrading to fiber-based networks. As fiber is dearer compared to copper based solutions the market is still dominated by the latter.
“New software solutions and customer demands for faster, more reliable networks that can support heavier applications and cater to the needs of diversified users would create an increase in demand for fiber cables in the India market. As a result, in 2011 the India fiber cables market alone would grow 45% year-on-year to touch nearly Rs. 200 Crore,” Subhajit added.
Major growth drivers: Infrastructure, Government & Education, Services sectors
With all-round rapid infrastructure development in India, there exists a huge opportunity for structured cabling players. Upcoming commercial complexes and office buildings are focused on deploying a strong structured cabling backbone.
“New applications running in the front-end are driving growth in network traffic, which require a need to install higher bandwidth capable cabling solutions. Networks are expected to have the robustness to carry huge volumes of data, voice and video and companies would like their employees, partners and customers to access these data at any time, from anywhere. Thus for accessing data in real time the market is moving to better specifications in Structured Cabling Solutions,” Anirban Banerjee, Associate Vice President, Research and Advisory Services, CyberMedia Research further stated.
The Government and Education sectors have started to strengthen their network infrastructure, which is also a major driver for the SCS industry. Substantial investments are taking place in the IT-ITeS vertical backed by government projects like National e-Governance Plan Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) and UID / Project Aadhar. Many of these MMPs are pan-India in nature and require creation of a national backbone for 3G and BWA applications.
Industry verticals like BFSI, Telecoms and Healthcare are in the expansion mode and are setting up new channels, erecting towers and opening new clinical facilities, respectively.
Concluded Subhajit Kumar, Lead Analyst, India Networking Equipment Market, CyberMedia Research, “In general, business enterprises have started to realize the importance of data centers. There has been an upsurge in investment in data centers in terms of upgradation and consolidation and setting up of remote disaster recovery centers, all of which require better cabling systems. This trend is also contributing to the growth of the India SCS market. With increasing awareness and stress on ‘green IT’, SCS vendors are also focused on making their solutions compliant with new safety standards and ‘green’ guidelines.”
Notes to Editors: Structured Cabling is defined as ‘building’ or ‘campus’ telecommunications cabling infrastructure that consists of a number of standardized smaller elements or components called subsystems.
As defined by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Structured Cabling falls into six subsystems:
Demarcation Point is the point at which the telephone company network ends and connects with the wiring at the customer premises.
Equipment or Telecommunications Rooms house equipment and wiring consolidation points, which serve users inside the building or campus.
Vertical or Riser Cabling connects between the equipment/telecommunications rooms.
Horizontal Wiring can be IW (inside wiring) or Plenum Cabling connects telecommunications rooms to individual outlets or work areas on the floor, usually through the wireways, conduits or ceiling spaces of each floor.
Work-Area Components connect end-user equipment to outlets of the horizontal cabling system.
Structured cabling design and installation is governed by a set of standards that specify wiring of data centers, offices, and residential apartment buildings for data or voice communications. These standards define how to lay the cabling in various topologies in order to meet the needs of the customer, typically using a central patch panel (which is normally 19 inch rack-mounted), from where each modular connection can be used as needed. Various kinds of cables and components used include – copper cables (commonly used being categories 5e or CAT 5e, 6 or CAT 6, 6a or CAT 6a and 7 or CAT 7), copper components (Information Outlets, Patch Panels and Patch Chords), fiber optic cables (single mode and multi-mode cables), and fiber optic components (connectors and couplers, fiber panels, fiber patch chords and pigtails).
CMR treats the Structured Cabling Solutions (SCS) market as being separate and distinct from the Optical Fiber Cabling (OFC) market, used in laying outdoor networks by telecommunications service providers for voice and/or data communication.