The RF connector market benefits from growth in the telecom equipment market.
In 2013, the worldwide market for RF connectors exceeded $2.2 billion. RF connectors are electrical connectors designed to operate at radio frequencies in the multi-megahertz and gigahertz range. The connectors vary in size from the very small ultra-microminiature (smaller than a pencil eraser) used in laptop computers to the large 7/16 RF connector used in transmitters to antenna links.
By connector type in 2013, miniature RF connectors comprised 22.5% of total RF connector usage. Also called the BNC (which stands for Bayonet Neill Concelman, the inventor), this connector is used in a wide variety of applications including cellular base stations, antennas, radar, and test instrumentation. Subminiature RF connectors comprise the second largest RF connector family at 21.5% of the overall market. These connectors, which are smaller than the miniature connectors, come in three basic types: SMA, SMB, and SMC. Applications include video systems, local area networks, military equipment, medical, and process controls.
The share of market for the RF connector families can be seen in the following chart.
By market sector for 2013, the largest usage of RF connectors is in the telecom/datacom market sector, which consumes 37.5% of the overall market value. Applications include transmission equipment, broadband networks, and antenna systems. Computers and peripherals is the next largest market sector for RF connectors and applications include wireless modems, wireless computers, and wireless peripherals.
By region of the world in 2013, China had the biggest RF market at 24% share. This is a result of the large amount of telecom equipment that is now manufactured in China. In market share, China is followed closely by North America, at 22%, and Europe, at 21%.
RF connectors are manufactured by several companies worldwide. Some of the larger manufacturers include Amphenol, Dai-Ichi Seiko (I-Pex), Hirose, HUBER+SUHNER, Molex, PPC, Radiall, Samtec, Rosenberger GmbH, TE Connectivity, and Telegartner.
Bishop forecasts that the RF connector market will grow by a compound annual growth rate of 6.2% over the next five years to a value of $3.0 billion.
Dave Pheteplace, VP, Bishop & Associates, Inc.
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