Cable Access Tech Spending Dipped 38% in Q1

Research company Dell’Oro Group said slide in CCAP spending caused by operators mulling DAA moves
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Global spending on cable access technology decreased 38% year over year in the first quarter to $275 million, with operators in North America and Europe delaying CCAP purchases as they mull moves into Distributed Access Architecture, according to research company Dell’Oro Group.

According to Jeff Heynen, the analyst behind the report, operators are “pushing off new capacity purchases while they determine how to move forward with distributed access architectures.”

This assertion certainly jibes with the explanation of leading Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) vendors including CommScope and Casa Systems, explaining first-quarter declines in CCAP revenue.

CommScope reported an 18% Q1 revenue slide in its network and cloud business, while Casa said its business declined 55.6% during the quarter.

“We’re seeing an industrywide slowdown as cable operators implement a shift to virtual CCAP and DAA,” Casa Systems CEO Jerry Guo told investors, describing a “quarter we’re not at all happy with.”

The Dell’Oro report said deployments of 10 Gbps-capable fiber-to-the-home networks, such as the one Altice USA is building in its Optimum footprint, drove increased shipments of XPON1, XGS-PON and NG-PON2 OLT ports.

Overall network access business was only off 2% to $2.9 billion during Q1.

“The 10 Gbps FTTH deployments continue to build momentum,” Heynen said. “The next-gen fiber increases nearly offset the weakness in cable CCAP spending.

And while tier 1 operators are like Comcast and Charter Communications are largely done with the CCAP purchasing needed to build their DOCSIS 3.1 networks, deployments of 1-gig-capable modems is ongoing.

Dell’Oro found a 19% uptick in CPE units shipped during the first quarter. 

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