The retail era for DOCSIS 3.1 modems and gateways is about to get underway.
Netgear’s first D3.1 product, the CM1000, is available for preorder on Amazon ahead of an expected Dec. 13 release date. It’s selling for $179.99 – about $50 more than the price for the Netgear CM700, a DOCSIS 3.0 product that can bond up to 32 downstream channels and eight upstream channels.
UPDATE: Netgear's listing of the CM1000 has disappeared from Amazon as of Thursday (Dec. 8). Netgear has been asked for a reason and if it's still on track to release the product on Dec. 13.
UPDATE 2: Netgear responded via Twitter the afternoon of Dec. 8 that the listing on Amazon will return shortly:
@thebauminator The team is aware of this. Pre-order page should be available within the next week.
— NETGEAR (@NETGEAR) December 8, 2016
Early estimates held that coming DOCSIS 3.1 devices would cost 30% to 50% more than their D3.0-only counterparts.
Like other early D3.1 modems, Netgear’s CM1000 is a hybrid in the sense that it can support DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1-based signals. The D3.0 side supports a 32x8 channel configuration.
The CM1000 is a stand-alone modem with a single LAN port, so users will need to pair it with a router.
In January, Netgear’s CM1000 was among the initial batch of modems to obtain certification from CableLabs, which is required for retail distribution. The Arris SurfBoard 8200, a DOCSIS 3.1 model tagged for retail, has also obtained the CableLabs stamp.
Update: Arris said it will start to sell the SB8200 at retail later this month and will share more details soon.
Notably, the Netgear listing on Amazon says that the CM1000 is certified by Comcast, touting a fast self-install activation, but adds that the model is not yet certified for Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable networks (Charter now owns TWC).
Netgear's new wares are entering the mix as Comcast and other cable operators look to expand trials and deployments of DOCSIS 3.1 and residential broadband tiers that deliver downstream bursts of 1 Gbps.
Netgear and Arris are battling it out at retail with other DOCSIS vendors including TP-Link, Linksys and Zoom Telephonics, which is using the Motorola brand and has D3.1 models on its roadmap.
Jeff Heynen, consulting director and senior research analyst in SNL Kagan’s Media & Communications unit, estimates that retail sales make up 10% to 15% of the total DOCSIS CPE market.