Light Reading

Sizing Up the CCAP Players

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

While 2014 is looking to be a big deployment year for cable's super-dense, next-gen access platform, the Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP), 2013 is still expected to bear witness to a few limited rollouts. With that in mind, vendors are already jockeying for position as operators start to roll out the CCAP, led by major cable operators such as Comcast Corp. (See What Comcast Learned From Trying Out CCAP.) CCAP will put all of cable's services on one platform and push operators toward an all-IP world. It's also poised to reduce headend space requirements by 50 percent and provide power savings of up to 60 percent. And, if you're a cable operator, CCAP's densities might save you money. For example, a recent Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider estimates that CCAP is poised to reduce Docsis QAM port pricing to about $400, from about $3,500 today. (See Amid the IP Video Tidal Wave, CCAP Offers a Lifeline.) A new architecture also brings a chance for potential market-share grabs by edge QAM and cable modem termination system (CMTS) vendors. Although CCAP is based on CableLabs specifications, there's enough wiggle room to help vendors differentiate and set their own product strategies as they start to go after a CCAP market that's expected to be worth at least $1 billion. Some vendors are developing fully integrated CCAPs that combine the CMTS and edge QAM functions, while others are concentrating on "non-routing" CCAP devices that look like giant edge QAMs. Some are pursuing both. Here's a roundup of how the known CCAP vendors are approaching the market. Arris
Arris Group Inc.'s integrated CCAP hopes and dreams are resting on the E6000, an all-in-one device that will initially function like a super-dense CMTS as a "middle step" to CCAP. Arris intends to take the full step and bake edge QAM capabilities into the E6000 eventually, but, in the interim, the vendor will support that functionality by linking the E6000 to the Media Services Platform (MSP), a high-density edge QAM that came by way of the BigBand Networks acquisition. (See Arris Unleashes a CMTS Monster.) Casa Systems
Casa Systems Inc. has consistently trailed the pack of CMTS and edge QAM vendors, but the company could make up some ground as operators start to make their CCAP-buying decisions. Casa's first CCAP-focused play is the DS8x96, a high-density module that fits into its C10G CMTS and beefs up the device's Docsis port densities. It's working on a fully integrated CCAP that will add the video components. Company execs say field trials involving the CS8x96 should get under way by the early part of this year. Those trials will center on Docsis-only versions of the product for sure, but could add video to the testing once the software is ready. Cisco
Cisco Systems Inc. is the market-leading CMTS vendor, and it's not about to give up the high ground as the CCAP era gets underway. The initial phase of Cisco's plan is to bring CCAP-like capabilities to its flagship CMTS, the uBR10000, using two new cards that essentially double downstream capacity while quadrupling the chassis' processing capacity to 40Gbit/s. That product would then be linked to Cisco's high-density RF Gateway-10 edge QAM. Trials are planned for the current quarter with "several major" cable operators. Cisco's next-gen CCAP platform, the Converged Broadband Router, or cBR-8, is expected to show up by early 2014. (See Cisco Extends Bridge to CCAP and Cisco Says CCAP's Tipping Point is 1Gbit/s.) CommScope
CommScope Inc. is starting off with two non-routing CCAP products – the CSP 640 and CSP 1280 -- that omit the Docsis piece, and are partly born out of the company's 2011 acquisition of edge QAM specialist LiquidxStream Systems Inc. But the company is working with a still-unnamed partner to add Docsis into the mix. CommScope expects to introduce its all-in-one, integrated CCAP product by the fourth quarter of this year and be ready for deployments by early 2014. (See CommScope Puts Docsis on Its Roadmap.) Harmonic
Harmonic Inc. has been a top-notch edge QAM maker for years, but its CCAP strategy shows that the company has some grander ambitions in mind. The vendor, which has been hiring Docsis experts of late, has developed an integrated CCAP called the NSG Pro. Harmonic's already got some trials lined up, but expects to have the product ready by the first quarter of 2013. The first version will be a downstream-only version without the Docsis components. The vendor isn't saying when it will add Docsis to the NSG Pro, but Harmonic did demonstrate the device running a Docsis upstream line card at the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Cable-Tec Expo last fall, so a post-prototype version shouldn't be too far behind. (See Harmonic Goes All-Out for CCAP and Harmoinc Lines Up CCAP Trials.) Motorola Home
Motorola Mobility LLC's Home unit has long been the third-largest CMTS player in terms of market share, but its proposed $2.35 billion sale to Arris makes it the wild card of the bunch. It's not yet known if Arris's work around the E6000 will completely supersede Moto's CCAP activities, or if Arris will try to hold on to or perhaps sell those assets. Motorola calls its integrated CCAP-in-progress the Video Services Platform (VSP). Moto's also working on a more distributed version that would link the CCAP "core" to a new class of dense edge QAMs, including Motorola's own Apex 3000. (See Hey, Motorola! Your CCAP Is Showing.) — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/24/2013 | 12:58:46 AM
re: Sizing Up the CCAP Players
I'd like readers to chime in too, but I wonder if the market will be big enough even to support all of these players... RGB dipped its toe into ccap (or i guess we were still calling it CMAP at the time) -áand then bugged out when it thought the market would take to long to develop for its liking: -á
Juniper, AlcaLu and Huawei also took a gander back when the thinking included a modular approach with the separation of the access shelf and the packet shelf. Still, the cable operators should be happy that there are at least a handful of-ávendor options , even if-áMoto's next-gen-áCCAP gets absorbed. JB -á
User Rank: Blogger
1/23/2013 | 11:15:29 PM
re: Sizing Up the CCAP Players
Based on what you've reported here and what we've reported in the Heavy Reading Cable Insider, the known players in CMTS and edge QAM have made their intentions clear regarding CCAP, although each supplier will have to adapt the video or data capability that they may currently lack.

A question for our readers: do you think there's room for other equipment suppliers to enter the CCAP market?

Another interesting market development to watch will be on the software side of CCAP, in terms of management and monitoring solutions. As Comcast concluded from its trial, the biggest challenges with CCAP are on the operations side.-á
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Networking Shines in HP's Gloomy Final Earnings
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.