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Arris CMTS Shipments Leap Past Cisco in Q4

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

The fourth quarter was an active one among cable access gear vendors, as the period saw perennial market share leaders in edge QAMs and cable modem termination systems (CMTS) get knocked down a notch. Arris Group Inc. overtook Cisco Systems Inc. in the CMTS port shipment category, according to Infonetics Research Inc.'s latest cable access market share report. In the quarter, Arris represented 48 percent of CMTS channel shipments, versus 32 percent for Cisco, 11 percent for Motorola Mobility LLC, and 9 percent for Casa Systems Inc., which continues to creep up on the pack. Here's how the situation looks in pie-chart form:

Cisco was still tops in CMTS revenues during the fourth quarter, reflective of its concentration of hardware shipments, while Arris sold more software upgrade licenses, which bring in less revenue but enjoy healthier margins. Cisco retained its CMTS crown for all of 2012, with 42 percent of CMTS port shipments, just ahead of Arris's 41 percent. Cisco's edge QAM first
Cisco fared better on the edge QAM front in the fourth quarter, representing 34 percent of revenues in the category, just ahead of Harmonic Inc.'s 32 percent. Cisco and Harmonic tied in terms of edge QAM channel shipments in the period, but the fourth quarter marked the first time ever Cisco was tops in edge QAM revenues. Harmonic sill ended 2012 as the overall category leader, however. Despite some jockeying up top, global CMTS and edge QAM spending in 2012 declined 15 percent, to $1.39 billion. Revenues in the fourth quarter dropped 1 percent, to $284 million worldwide, but were up 7 percent in North America. Infonetics analyst Jeff Heynen attributed the down year partly to the completion of primary Docsis 3.0 deployments by Comcast Corp. and other cable operators. Infrastructure spending was hot in the first half of 2012, but cooled in the second half as operators ratcheted up spending on Docsis 3.0 modems and gateways. A rosier 2013?
But that downward slide won't continue for long. Infonetics sees a rebound on the horizon, expecting CMTS and edge QAM revenues to grow by more than 20 percent in 2013. Among the drivers, Heynen expects to see some initial revenue flow in for Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) devices that will eventually combine the CMTS and edge QAM functions. Heynen also expects to see cable access network purchasing pick up among some European MSOs during the year. (See Arris: CCAP Revenues Start to Trickle In.) — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/28/2013 | 8:08:05 PM
re: Arris CMTS Shipments Leap Past Cisco in Q4
Yes, being first (and still only, as I can tell)-to obtain full D3 qualification didn't matter that much.- Or customers of Arris, Cisco adn Mot didn't hold it against them that they didn't get that full qualification. But the initial focus/need was downstream channel bonding and I suppose IPv6, so they hit the near-term requirements first.-- And Casa, by the way, is getting some pie chart cred: Infonetics has added them in:

We'll insert the updated chart as soon as we obtain a higher-res version of it.
User Rank: Light Beer
2/28/2013 | 1:04:50 PM
re: Arris CMTS Shipments Leap Past Cisco in Q4
Casa is the little engine that could. Being the first to achieve D3 qualification was an early sign of their ambition, even if it seems almost irrelevant now. (Are they also the only?)
Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/27/2013 | 5:47:19 PM
re: Arris CMTS Shipments Leap Past Cisco in Q4
Given the recent headway Casa's made, I wonder if they'll soon get their own pie slice label versus getting lumped in with the "others" that make up the rest-of the- CMTS market.-Will be an interesting to see where Casa-end up in 2013 and what happens to-the Moto- CMTS and edge QAM products after the Arris buy closes. Suspect Casa will soon-have No. 3 all to itself-when Moto's share gets absorbed into Arris, and we'll have a brand new three-way race on the CMTS side, anyway. JB
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