Cable Business Services

Cable Commands Major Slice of Ethernet

Cable operators now account for a quarter of the U.S. Ethernet services market and are set to grab an even bigger slice of the sector in the coming years, driven by the expected growth of Comcast's emerging business services division and a move beyond the metro Ethernet services market where the MSOs are currently doing so well. (See Comcast Makes Hay With Metro Ethernet.)

That's one of the key takeaways from a new Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider report, Cable Operators & Ethernet: Serious Market Share. (See Cable MSOs Move in on Ethernet Sales.)

That spells bad news for the traditional telecom operators, which are used to having the business services market largely to themselves, but is good news for the carrier Ethernet vendor fraternity, as it provides fresh opportunities for business, notes the report.

In particular it spells good news for Cisco Systems Inc., the key infrastructure supplier to the business service operations of the U.S. cable players. Alcatel-Lucent and Juniper Networks Inc. are also significant existing suppliers, while ADVA Optical Networking and Tellabs Inc. are also existing Ethernet-related network infrastructure suppliers.

Alcatel-Lucent clearly sees a greater role for itself in the cable market. (See Cable Is Key to 'New' Alcatel-Lucent.)

And being relatively new to the market means the cable operators are not so held back by legacy infrastructure. The MSOs "continue to take advantage of specific competitive strengths in their relatively new MPLS-based networks, next-generation architectures, combinations of ubiquitous HFC networks with substantial fiber ones, generally lower overheads than incumbents and a focus on Ethernet as their prime data service and lack of concern with preserving competing legacy data," notes the report's author, Steve Koppman.

Find out more about the Ethernet services and technology market at Light Reading's Ethernet & SDN Expo event in New York, Oct 2-3.

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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