Light Reading
Harmonic quietly adds Docsis expertise as it prepares to take a run at a new product category that will pit it against Cisco, Arris and Motorola

Harmonic Goes All-Out for CCAP

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
9/5/2012
50%
50%

When it comes to developing products for cable's next-gen access platform, Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT) isn't messing around.

Harmonic, known for its edge QAM expertise, has been quietly adding Docsis know-how as it prepares to launch a full CCAP chassis, Light Reading Cable has learned.

That strategy will put Harmonic on a collision course with some of the industry's leading cable modem termination system (CMTS) vendors, including Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) and Motorola Mobility.

Harmonic President and CEO Patrick Harshman hinted at the product strategy during the company's second-quarter earnings call in July, noting that Harmonic is making a "substantial investment" in its CCAP initiative. "We have scaled up our development team, adding a number of skilled Docsis experts, and have made amazing development progress," he added.

Harmonic hasn't said much about those Docsis-related hires, but an industry source says Harmonic has added some CMTS firepower by bringing on some engineers who were formerly at Terayon Communication Systems, a cable modem and CMTS vendor that's now part of Motorola. The bigger focus on CCAP also comes as Harmonic executed a strategic reorganization that put company veteran Nimrod Ben-Natan in charge of the company's new Edge and Access business unit.

So, what's Harmonic up to? It's not revealing all the details yet, but Harmonic VP of Cable Solutions Gil Katz confirms that the company will introduce a "CCAP-compliant" product at next month's Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Cable Tec-Expo 2012 in Orlando, and will be ready to take orders for it soon after the event.

That will expand the number of known full CCAP players to five, as Cisco, Arris, Motorola and Casa Systems Inc. have all announced plans to develop products for the power- and space-saving access platform, which combines edge QAM and CMTS functions in one box. The port densities envisioned for CCAP will put cable on an all-IP convergence path as more and more video traffic becomes unicast as MSOs adopt services such as the network DVR. (See Casa Puts Heat on Cisco, Arris & Motorola .)

Like other CCAP vendors, Harmonic won't have every part of the spec covered at the get-go, but intends to add features and components as cable operators require them. But Katz adds that Harmonic is also working on a complementary CCAP product that will introduce a new class of HFC transmitter and a broader optical transmission system that will help operators use the fiber portion of their HFC networks more efficiently. More on that is expected to come out before the SCTE event.

A race for number 3?
According to Infonetics Research Inc. , Harmonic still leads the edge QAM market. But its move into the Docsis realm will put it in a bigger fight with the cable industry's top three top CMTS vendors -- Cisco, Arris and Motorola -- as MSOs begin to test and deploy CCAP in the coming months and years. (See Cisco Keeps Stranglehold of CMTS Market and Comcast Issues CCAP RFP .)

And even if Harmonic can develop a CCAP product that differentiates itself from the field, it may have trouble loosening the grip of the main CMTS incumbents, despite ongoing questions about the fate of Motorola's cable business. (See Google Taps Barclays to Shop Motorola Home .)

"Two to three players in the full CCAP space is about all the market can bear," Infonetics analyst Jeff Heynen told Light Reading Cable back in May. (See CCAP Market Is Cisco's & Arris's to Lose .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:22:00 PM
re: Harmonic Goes All-Out for CCAP


There's also a market developing for non-routing CCAPs that are akin to giant downstream only edge QAMs, with CommScope (via its LiquidXstream acquisition) notably in that group, which is also expected to include the other CCAP vendors, so there will be a few vendors and product types emerging from this market.  Expect to hear more about that and what else is new on the CCAP front during this Webinar on Monday Sept. 10. JB

craigleddy
50%
50%
craigleddy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 5:22:00 PM
re: Harmonic Goes All-Out for CCAP


For awhile it's seemed like CCAP has been plodding along, looking like a technology in search of a marketplace. Comcast has been leading the CCAP charge and Time Warner Cable has been interested, both of which provide an initial customer base for suppliers, but what about other MSOs?


Some suppliers appear to favor their high-density edge QAM devices, but perhaps there's a hybrid that can meet the goals of CCAP. It'll be interesting to see what Harmonic comes out with.    

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:21:59 PM
re: Harmonic Goes All-Out for CCAP


Probably better defined as an emerging market since I don't think anyone's really making any money on ccaps yet. Will be interesting to see how this market develops and replaces or complements the existing edge QAM/CMTS architecture.  Looking like these full integrated CCAPs will be good in big markets, allowing msos to redeploy cmts and eqam gear into smaller markets, and perhaps use these non-routing ccaps in mid-size/small markets as well.  Hoping to get a good update on that Webinar next week. JB


 

Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Documentaries
Paul Bunyan's Giant Gigabit Plans

12|22|14   |   03:26   |   (0) comments


Gary Johnson, the CEO and GM of Minnesota rural operator Paul Bunyan Communications, discusses the company's 5,000-square-mile gigabit network rollout.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
Google Steering Android Towards Cars – Report
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/19/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive