Light Reading

Harmonic Goes All-Out for CCAP

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

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
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (4) comments


US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
LRTV Custom TV
Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
LRTV Documentaries
Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (6) comments


Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
LRTV Documentaries
Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment


Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
LRTV Custom TV
Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments


Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments


Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Documentaries
Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments


Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
LRTV Custom TV
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at Mobile World Congress

4|1|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger speaks to Heavy Reading about the value of virtualization spanning from the data center to service provider networks to mobile devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Analysts' Impressions of Huawei SoftCOM at ONS 2014

4|1|14   |   1:11   |   (0) comments


After visiting the Huawei booth at ONS, Lee Doyle of Doyle Research gives his appraisal of Huawei's SoftCOM solution.
Hot Topics
BlackBerry Invests in Healthcare IT Startup
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/15/2014
Cisco, Juniper Treating Gear Against Potential Heartbleed
Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, 4/11/2014
Cisco & VMware Are Apple & Google of SDN
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/14/2014
T-Mobile Petitions Operators to Kill Overages
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Mobile Apps Susceptible to Heartbleed, Too
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed