Wire and Cable: Materials, Technologies and Global Markets
- July 2014
- 150 pages
- BCC Research
Use this report to:
- Learn about the different terminologies and technical concepts associated with power and telecom cables.
- Receive a detailed analysis of the average selling price (ASP) trends for individual power and telecom cable subcategories.
- Identify cables that provide the right balance between technology and pricing fronts.
- Learn about the U.S. patents granted in the relevant areas of industry.
- The global cable market was valued at $172 billion in 2012 and $188.3 billion in 2013. This market is expected to reach $205 billion in 2014 and $297.4 billion in 2019, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7% from 2014 to 2019.
- The market for power cables is expected to increase from nearly $153.2 billion in 2014 to about $219.7 billion by 2019, with a CAGR of 7.5% from 2014 to 2019.
- Telecom cables are expected to increase from $51.8 billion in 2014 to about $77.8 billion by 2019, with a 2014-2019 CAGR of 8.5%.
This report uses the terms cables and wires interchangeably. They refer to the physical structure that is used to conduct electrical current and telecommunications signal/payload. The term cable should thus be distinguished from the same term used in context of the cable television industry. This report is an update of an earlier BCC Research report of the same title published in 2011 (AVM072A).
Cables and wires are the most visible symbols of the world’s technological advancement over most of the last century. Over a majority of their operating history, the technology underpinning cables and wires has remained remarkably consistent. The entire operating philosophy of cables and wires boils down to the management of
transit of electrons and photons. Using this operating principle, cables primarily serve two purposes: transmission of power and transmission of telecommunications payloads
and signals. These two broad streams of usage span a wide array of applications and industries. Consequently cables and wires constitute a formidable market in their own
While cables serve as conduits to interconnect high-tech islands, their underlying operating principle has remained consistent over the years and is fairly uncomplicated.
This simplicity in technology does not rub off on its market dynamics. The fallout of this simplicity is the presence of a phenomenally large number of significant stakeholders.
Additionally, these very diverse stakeholders are extremely sensitive to the macroeconomic trends.
Much of the volatility in the cable market is tied to the raw material costs on the supply side. As a result, the pricing trends of cables and wires are not entirely driven by
market demand. The market is also far from being homogenous, with the end user profiles ranging from wholesale purchasers, telecom operators, retail users, utility
managers, power supply companies as well as enterprises. The leverage enjoyed by the buyers is by and large directly proportional to their off take and inversely
proportional to the criticality of cables and wires to their operations.
While the technology behind cables has remained consistent, it has not stayed static. As with most applied sciences, cables have witnessed a relentless stakeholder drive
towards achieving better transmission with lesser resources. This has led to improvement and improvisations in the core conductor as well as its assembly technologies. There has also been a concerted drive towards enhancing the expanse of use-cases where cables and wires are employed. This drive has acquired greater momentum in the last decade with the rapid advancement in computing, telecommunications and the core electronics technologies. The global push towards the development of alternative energy sources has also acted as a catalyst for the diversification of the cable and wire market. Finally, the world is moving towards a scenario where intelligent devices performing various functions are in a position to communicate with each other. The proportion of such devices is on the rise. Cables and wires are the prime facilitators in achieving the objective of interconnecting intelligent devices.
This report is an attempt to identify and highlight the salient attributes of this diverse and large market.
STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
This study has the following goals and objectives:
- Measuring and forecasting the market size for overall power and telecom cables in both value and volume.
- Forecasting the market size for power cables in value and volume terms respectively in the form of dollars and kilograms.
- Forecasting the market size for telecom cables in value and volume terms, respectively, in the form of dollars and pair-kilometers.
- Breaking down the overall power cable market along voltage and functional attributes – extremely low voltage (ELV), low voltage, high voltage and magnetic applications.
- Breaking down the overall telecom cable market along conductor materials – metal and fiber optic.
- Breaking down the individual power cable functional attributes along geographical regions (Americas; Europe Middle East, Africa –EMEA, Asia-Pacific), end-device applications (energy and utilities; industrial; telecom devices; wireless/wireline infrastructure; computing devices; domestic and commercial consumer electronics,
lighting and home appliances) and conductor metals (copper, aluminum) in volume and value terms.
- Breaking down the individual telecom cable conductor materials along geographical regions (Americas, EMEA, Asia-Pacific), end-device applications (energy and utilities;
industrial; telecom devices; wireless/wireline infrastructure; computing devices; domestic and commercial consumer electronics, lighting and home appliances) and
distance stretch (access, metro, backbone) in volume and value terms.
- Providing a detailed analysis of the average selling price (ASP) trends for individual power and telecom cable subcategories.
- Analyzing the stakeholder value chain in the power and telecom cable market.
- Analyzing the patenting activity involving power and telecom cables.
REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY
The cable industry can be summarized as one that deals with an uncomplicated technology interplaying with complex macro and microeconomic factors. The
macroeconomic factors affect the pricing of the raw materials as well as the health of the end user domains while the microeconomic factors affect region specific market
The question of raw materials supply if not adequately addressed can turn into a showstopper in this market. Much of the issue concerns the availability of copper, the principal material in both power and telecom cables. Aluminum and optical fiber are on the path of presenting themselves as credible alternatives on the performance and
pricing fronts respectively in the concerned domains. The principle purpose of this report is to identify the extent to which the alternatives will be accepted and analyze the role played by pricing in such acceptance.
The report also sheds light on the role played by end user markets on the pricing of the cables. It is revealing to note that end users have significant leverage over prices. The cable makers are thus in a bind. They have to walk a tightrope between demanding end users and fickle raw materials. This report analyzes the approaches adopted by various market leaders in tackling this challenge. With the rapid growth of wireless communication technologies, there is a well-founded apprehension about the long-term prospects of the cable and wire market, especially in the communication function space. This report provides a qualitative and quantitative response to this concern.
SCOPE OF THE REPORT
The report forecasts the size of the power and telecom cable market for components from 2014 through 2019.
- The Executive Summary provides a snapshot of key findings of the report.
- The chapter on the Taxonomy of Cable Classes introduces cabling operations, defines cable usage, explains terminologies and importantly breaks down the power and
telecom cabling market into geographical regions, conductor metals, distance stretches and end-application devices as applicable.
- The chapter on raw materials and pricing addresses the key area that singularly determines the path of the industry. The subject is broached qualitatively as well quantitatively.
- The chapter on vendor analysis explains salient trends characterizing the cabling market, identifies major stakeholder types, analyzes profiles of major players and enlists other significant players.
- The U.S. Patent Analysis chapter highlights the patenting activity underway in the area of power and telecom cables. The chapter classifies the patents awarded according to the activities involved in the areas of cable guiding, alignment, stripping, storing and management; cable measurement, monitoring, protection and fault management; conductor synthesis, fabrication and alignment; connectors, couplers, joints and terminations; device and application specific cabling; flat and flexible cables; insulation, sheath and protective covers; optical fiber cables; submarine cables and superconductors.
Note: The quantitative analysis of the report does not cover:
- Automotive cables
- Instrumentation and control cables
- Building and construction wires
- Any cables other than ones used in power and telecom applications.
This report will be relevant to the following:
- Cable original equipment manufacturers to identify dynamics determining the traction imparted to various cabling technologies and its market impact.
- Electrical component vendors and electronic device vendors to ascertain the pricing trends among other important parameters governing cables as they integrate cables
with their products.
- Power and energy suppliers as well as telecom operators to identify cables that provide the right mix on the technology and pricing front.
- Retail domestic and corporate users to make judicious buying decisions for their installations.
METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES
The report forecasts the market size for the following:
- Power cables such as ELV, low voltage, high voltage and magnetic applications in dollar value and kilogram volume terms.
- Telecom cables such as metal and fiber optics in dollar value and kilometer pair volume terms.
- The power cable categories are further subdivided into end-device applications, geographical regions and conductor metals.
- The telecom cable categories are further sub-divided into end-device applications, geographical regions and distance stretches.
Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in this study. Industry experts were interviewed; secondary sources included industry consortia, individual
company financial statements, published opinions, and other published sources.