The edge QAM and cable modem termination system (CMTS) sectors got off to a bit of a shaky start in 2013, as combined revenues reached $327 million in the first quarter, down 25% from the year-ago quarter, according to fresh data from Infonetics Research.
While the first quarter revenue total marked a 9% rise versus the fourth quarter of 2012, the year-over-year hit was due slower spending by North American and European cable operators as they completed major DOCSIS 3.0 upgrades, Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics, said.
He said many of those MSOs are also waiting to buy new, denser cards for existing network equipment and are likewise getting their networks operationally ready to accept a new breed of Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) gear that will combine the functions of the CMTS and the edge QAM and put all cable services on the same platform.
Despite the speed bump in the first quarter, Heynen expects CMTS and edge QAM shipments to improve throughout the rest of the year and still manage to beat 2012’s total in both revenues and overall channel shipments.
He’s also forecasting a stronger 2014, when CCAP deployments begin to ramp up and cause channel shipments to "go through the roof.”
Heynen expects combined CMTS shipments to reach 1.7 million combined upstream and downstream channels this year, reach 2.8 million in 2015, and balloon to 4 million in 2017:
In the first quarter, Cisco Systems reclaimed the CMTS market lead with a 51% share of the revenues, followed by Arris (31%), Motorola Home (12%), which is now part of Arris, and Casa Systems (5%-6%). Arris represented 48% of CMTS channel shipments in the fourth quarter, followed by Cisco’s 32%, Motorola's 11%, and Casa's 9%.
Cisco and Harmonic led the edge QAM sector in the first quarter, with each securing 30% to 35% of the take, according to Infonetics.