Optical fiber is the preferred option to keep up with 5G bandwidth demands because of its scalability, security and ability to handle vast amounts of traffic with lower attenuation, plus it can offer unlimited bandwidth potential. In the 5G network infrastructure, abundant fiber optic cables are required to connect micro base stations and edge nodes. This will be the fundamental factor driving the growth of optical fiber demand. Furthermore, 5G low latency and high reliability application scenarios require edge computing solutions which also calls for fiber optic cable deployments. It is conservatively predicted that the total fiber demand in 2020 is 350 million core kilometers, with the demand expected to grow to 420 million core kilometers in 2021. Besides, the demand for fiber is anticipated to rise at a growth rate of 20 percent after 2020. The Asia Pacific region has emerged as the largest consumer market of the fiber optic cable industry. According to GSMA, 5G connections (excluding IoT) are anticipated to reach USD 670 million in the Asia Pacific by 2025, accounting for approximately about 60% of the global 5G connections. North America is the second-largest consumer market, followed by Europe.
Furthermore, optical fiber cables used for 5G networks should also be able to handle increased speeds and density while simultaneously reducing latency, consuming less energy, and generating less heat. In support of these new market demands, worldwide cable manufacturers such as Prysmian and Corning are working hard in developing innovative optical fiber cables.
The implementation of 5G also creates huge opportunities for the structured cabling market. In the era of 5G, there will be more businesses adopting structured cabling solutions to ensure their network security and the safety of IT devices. According to a recent report by Fact.MR, the structured cabling market grew at a CAGR of 6% from 2013 to 2017. In 2018, the value of the structured cabling market was estimated at nearly US$ 16 billion, and is forecast to record a CAGR of approximately 8% through 2028. Now North America still remains the leading structured cabling market. However, the Asia Pacific is predicted to be a high-growth market for structured cabling.