Cable modem sales worldwide were strong in the first quarter of 2012 with revenue up 10% quarter over quarter, driven primarily by DOCSIS 3.0 upgrades in North America, according to Infonetics Research.
"The growth we're seeing in wideband DOCSIS 3.0 [customer premises equipment] revenue shows that the infrastructure investments made by operators in DOCSIS 3.0 equipment over the past few years are now paying off in new subscribers and upgrades to existing subscribers' services," said Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and video at Infonetics.
North America in particular is "a hotbed for wideband activity right now," according to Heynen. Infonetics found DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem shipments up more than 50% from the first quarter of 2011.
The surge indicates that "cable companies are making a consistent effort to move subscribers to DOCSIS 3.0 service tiers," Heynen said. "This is something we haven't seen until now."
Overall, the global broadband customer premises equipment market -- including cable, DSL and fiber-to-the-home CPE -- was $1.76 billion in the first quarter of 2012, up 4% from Q4 2011.
Huawei was the top broadband CPE vendor worldwide in the first quarter of the year, slightly ahead of ZTE; both vendors are leading suppliers of FTTH CPE to China Telecom and China Unicom. Those two were followed by Motorola, Technicolor and Arris, according to Infonetics.