Experts have been expecting the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) for years, and that growth is happening now. Current predictions indicate that 20 billion devices will be connected by 2020 and 150 billion by 2030 — a 650-percent growth across 10 years. The impact this growth will have on the cabling industry is significant and should not be overlooked.

Data centers

Firstly, data centers will have increased demands for network capacity and latency. Bandwidth requirements will continually increase. To offset these requirements, several companies have already started building micro-data centers near 5G towers. Business customers will be able to own or rent space in these micro-data centers that will link back to their network infrastructures. 


As demands on data networks increase, only 5G mobile networks will have the bandwidth capable of transmitting data fast enough to buoy the IoT. Most networks do not have the fiber density to cope with these increasing bandwidth demands. A consultant for Network World says it will take “an investment of $130 billion to $150 billion in fiber infrastructure over the next five to seven years to adequately support broadband competition, rural coverage, and wireless densification [needed for 5G].” With most of that money coming directly into the cabling industry, the increase in fiber needs is good news for installers and communications companies.

Underground space

With all the attention the IoT has received in the past years, most ignore the growing concern of available underground space, as approximately 60 percent of fiber infrastructure exists underground. While 5G fibers are smaller than 4G, the increased bandwidth demands more fibers to meet the demands of the IoT. With the addition of more fibers, underground space is going to become an even more valuable commodity in the coming years. Engineers and installers will need to find creative solutions for maximizing the available space within conduits, such as Milliken Cable Management’s Vis™ Divide rigid segmented conduit. As the available space shrinks, it is imperative to grow strategically and responsibly to ensure the future of the industry.

If you have questions about how you can maximize the space within your conduits during the growth of the IoT, give us a call at 706.880.3402 or send us a message at