Cable modem/CMTS

Arris Beats Cisco in CMTS for '09

Global cable modem termination system (CMTS) and edge QAM vendor revenues jumped 22 percent, to $363 million, in the fourth quarter as North American MSOs blew out their equipment budgets, according to a fresh report from Infonetics Research Inc. (See Infonetics: Cable Gear Market Grew in Q4 and Arris Swirls With MSO 'Budget Flush'.)

That surge, helped in part by downstream capacity adds by MSOs such as Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications Inc. , and Charter Communications Inc. , also enabled Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) to extend its CMTS market share lead over perennial top dog Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO).

Arris, which snagged that lead for the first time in the second quarter of 2009, ended the year with a 42.9 percent cut of the market, versus Cisco's 38.4 percent share. (See Arris Snares CMTS Crown From Cisco .)

Arris has had to make up lots of ground to overtake Cisco. Infonetics directing analyst of broadband and video Jeff Heynen notes that Arris had just 18.6 percent of the global CMTS market in 2005, versus Cisco's then-commanding 54.4 percent.

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) retained its third-place CMTS standing despite losing a few points to Arris, as well. Casa Systems Inc. , the startup of the CMTS crew, is still trying to make its mark by breaking into accounts such as Europe's UPC Broadband .

Despite the strong showing in the fourth quarter, CMTS revenues in 2009 actually dipped 10.7 percent from 2008, which was a record-setting year for CMTS deployments.

But growth in the cable edge QAM market, aided by a big quarter from BigBand Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: BBND), helped make up the difference. Combined, CMTS and edge QAM sales totaled $1.24 billion in 2009 -- roughly the same as what Infonetics reported for all of 2008.

And that trend -- slower CMTS sales coupled with bigger edge QAM shipments -- is expected to continue, according to this Infonetics snapshot that compares 2009's figures with the firm's forecast for 2014.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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