2014 saw the submarine fiber optics market surge to its highest demand for new cable since 2007 and the second highest since the early years of the 21st Century, before the market collapsed in late 2001.

This is the conclusion of the 2015 edition of TSC’s Radar Screen Report (RSR), which analyzes the demand for submarine fiber optic cable based on new contract awards.

For the previous five years, the Radar Screen Report identified steady demand, rather than the traditional boom and bust pattern that had been a staple of the market since its inception. This steady-growth period was caused by various pressures pushing the market up, while similarly strong pressures pushed it down, keeping it to a steady middle ground. The result was an annual demand between 40,000 and 50,000 route-kilometers between the years 2009 and 2013 – far from a complete bust but not high enough for the industry to thrive.

Last year’s Radar Screen Report noted slight changes in the landscape, particularly in the availability of financing, and correctly forecast the probability of breaking out from this steady-as-she-goes pattern to reach the highest levels of demand since the last boom in 2007-2008. The surge was even greater than forecast, with demand in 2014 approximately 100% higher than the average full-year totals during the previous five years.

RSR projections indicate the market is not likely to maintain this same momentum in 2015 as the surge took several large-scale systems out of the development pipeline. But the shifting dynamics and still-sizable number of cable projects in the pipeline are positive indications that the market is healthy, and in the near term will maintain the potential to thrive.

For more information about the 2015 TSC Radar Screen Report, go to http://www.subcableworld.com/radar-screen-report.