R&M Trend Views: 2021 to Bring Further Boost for Networks


Market overview: FTTH expansion continues, 5G requires FO cabling, New horizons for LAN cabling, Single Pair Ethernet the key technology

R&M, the globally active developer and provider of cabling systems for high-quality network infrastructures, based in Wetzikon, Switzerland, is expecting a further boost for the data and communication networks market in 2021. In all sectors, demand for bandwidth, new fiber optic technology and extensive, tightly meshed cabling is increasing. This is detailed by CMO Andreas Rüsseler in the R&M Blog series.  

As a result of the pandemic, connectivity requirements are becoming more apparent. This particularly includes fast Internet access for private households,” says Andreas Rüsseler. When millions of people are staying at home and having to work remotely, the pressure on demand increases. The telecoms sector is investing more than ever before in Fiber to the Home (FTTH). The R&M CMO believes the investment wave will continue through 2021. Rüsseler: “Although bandwidth is now a basic need – and ought to be considered a utility just like electricity and water – there is still not enough of it.” He believes that, in the long term, only fiber optic cabling will be able to provide the necessary resources.  

In the blog series, Andreas Rüsseler cites new driving forces for the expansion of fiber optic networks, 5G being one of them. The technology roll-out is just beginning. Countless 5G antennas have to be connected with fiber optic networks, distributors and data centers. The planned transmission performance can only be realized with Fiber to the Antenna (FTTA). In many places the necessary fiber optic lines are not yet available. R&M advocates cooperation among market players in order to be able to expand and use 5G and FTTx infrastructures more cost-effectively.  

As is the case with 5G, the market for intelligent buildings is still in its infancy, says Andreas Rüsseler. In 2021, the trend will become more apparent.  

WiFi 6, the next WLAN generation, the Internet of Things (IoT) and building automation will continue to spread with Internet protocol (All over IP). They require high-performance copper cabling to the most distant corners of the buildings. This is why there will be an increased demand for Cat. 6A and Cat. 8.1 cabling in 2021. There will be more products for building technology on the basis of the new cabling technology Single Pair Ethernet (SPE). R&M sees SPE as the key technology for intelligent buildings. Along with data and signals, building networks will have to transmit more power in the future to directly feed the countless IoT small devices. This is why Power over Ethernet (PoE) has a bright future in front of it. Andreas Rüsseler’s conclusion: “New applications are emerging for LAN cabling in the process.”  

In a further blog post, R&M CMO Andreas Rüsseler discusses the trends on the data center market. Hyperscale data centers are on the rise all over the world – with unprecedented investments. The evolution to 400 Gigabit/s fiber optic networks will progress in 2021. High density fiber connectivity requires new kinds of administration and monitoring instruments. R&M expects data centers will be needing more software-aided intelligence in the future to be able to manage their networks.  

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