Researcher: Wireless will adversely impact cabling for network's edge

New report from FTM Consulting says high-speed apps like data centers and video transmission won't feel the pinch, but smaller offices may bypass structured cabling altogether.

In a new study entitled "Wireless Impact on the SCS Market," FTM Consulting's president Frank Murawski projects that structured cabling system (SCS) market growth will indeed be adversely affected by the growing capabilities of wireless communications systems.

Murawski said, "Until recently wireless did not provide the performance capability of structured cabling systems using copper and fiber cabling. Newer technologies, such as 802.11n, have now placed wireless on par with structured cabling systems' performance. Future technologies including 802.11ac and 802.11ad will provide further performance improvements.

"In addition, the proliferation of newer mobile devices, such as newer smartphones and tablets, especially the Apple iPad, has placed increasing pressure on enterprises to allow for these devices to be connected to the enterprises' network. We view the iPad as a game changer, being universally accepted, in conjunction with the enterprises' apps being developed for use within enterprises."

Murawski predicts a moderate SCS-market growth decline happening immediately (from 22.9 percent growth this year to 14.7 percent growth in 2016), and a "severe impact in the far term, starting in the 2016 to 2017 time period."

He adds that wireless's impact on structured cabling will begin at the network edge, "with some impact between the edge and the core, with the core remaining mainly SCS." Also, he says, newer networks - especially small remote offices - are likely to go wireless and bypass structured cabling. And high-speed applications, such as in the data center and those that include video transmission, will for the most part be immune to wireless's impact.

Visit FTM for more information on this study.

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