A Boon to the Conduit Pipe Market, 5G Network Expansion Accelerates Under COVID-19

The rollout of the fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, known as 5G, began in 2019 and is expanding rapidly globally:

  • Unlike many other sectors, which have seen dramatic declines in commercial investment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, telcos around the world actually ramped up 5G expansion efforts in 2020 as the world went into lockdown, and flooded the internet.
  • Though China is currently leading the rest of the world in 5G, according to Swedish networking firm Ericsson, 60% of the global population could be covered by 5G by 2026.
  • Both AT&T and Verizon significantly scaled up their 5G coverage in the US during the pandemic.
  • Apple recently released a 5G phone, a key development expected to bolster network expansion.

This will be a boon for the $2.4 billion US conduit pipe market, according to a new Freedonia Group report. As 5G infrastructure requires the installation of thousands of miles of new fiber optic cabling, and fiber optic cables are more sensitive to moisture and mechanical stress than coaxial cables, conduit is used to meet the greater protective need.

US Demand for Conduit Pipe is Forecast to Rise 2.3% per year to $2.6 billion in 2024

For more information, see Conduit Pipe, now available from The Freedonia Group. This study analyzes the US conduit pipe industry. Historical data (2009, 2014, and 2019) and forecasts for the years 2024 and 2029 are provided for competitive pipe materials:

  • steel
  • plastic
  • aluminum

Data are also provided for types of plastic pipe:

  • PVC
  • HDPE
  • fiberglass
  • other resins, including polypropylene, polyamide, and LDPE

All demand data reflect apparent consumption (production plus imports minus exports) and are given in dollars, pounds, and linear feet.