Cable modem/CMTS

Arris Snares CMTS Crown From Cisco

A big second quarter helped Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) shoot past perennial leader Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) in cable modem termination system (CMTS) revenues, but the lead -- Arris's first ever in the category -- may be fleeting.

Strong shipments of CMTS downstream ports tied into aggressive rollouts of Docsis 3.0 by Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and other MSO partners gave Arris 47 percent of the global CMTS market in the period.

Arris posted record CMTS-related revenues in the second quarter after shipping out 32,005 downstreams, 30,852 upstreams, and 314 CMTS chassis. (See Arris Pumps Up the Docsis 3.0 Volume .)

So what happened to Cisco, which saw its CMTS revenue share drop from 42 percent in the first quarter to 29 percent in the following period? "They've been like a no show" in the second quarter, says Jeff Heynen, the directing analyst for broadband and video at Infonetics Research Inc.

But he chalked that up as an aberration, and suspects Cisco, which commanded a whopping 69 percent of the CMTS market in the second quarter of 2008, will reclaim the lead soon. "It's more of a revenue and shipment recognition issue than anything that's product related," Heynen says of Cisco's poor second quarter showing.

But the competition isn't going away. Arris, like Cisco, factors heavily into Comcast's Docsis 3.0 network rollout, which will be 80 percent completed this year and completely sewn up by the end of 2010. But Arris also increased its business at Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) in the second quarter, and has seen some growth emerge from the Latin American cable market. (See Comcast Speeds Up '09 Wideband Goal .)

Third-place Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) had a 23 percent share in the second quarter, up from 11 percent in the year-ago period, thanks in part to availability of the TX32, a denser CMTS card (32 downstream ports) for the company's flagship CMTS, the BSR64000. (See Moto Downloads Docsis Plans .) "The TX32 has really made a huge difference, and their existing customers were waiting very patiently to upgrade," Heynen tells Cable Digital News.

Casa Systems Inc. -- the only CMTS vendor so far to obtain "full" Docsis 3.0 qualification, which includes the specification's upstream channel bonding feature -- still doesn't factor much in the rankings, despite some trial business with UPC Broadband and a recent deployment with Guangzhou Digital Media Group of China. Heynan estimates that the Andover, Mass.-based startup has about a 1 percent sliver of the market. (See Casa's Got a Deal in the House and CableLabs Cheers Casa Chassis.)

As for any revenue bumps coming from denser CMTS cards that can bond upstream channels, vendors will likely be cooling their heels for a bit. MSOs such as Comcast are expected to start some trials late this year and into 2010, but Heynen doesn't see any volume shipments for upstream channel-bonding gear happening until 2011.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

comtech3 12/5/2012 | 3:56:49 PM
re: Arris Snares CMTS Crown From Cisco

The problem with Cisco,like many others,is greed.Not satisfied with aquiring Scientific Atlanta,they want to go into the server market to compete against Dell,IBM,and Sun Microsystem.They also got Linksys,too.Too many irons in the fire will spell their doom.Have they not learn from Motorola,who wants to sell their failed wireless handset business?

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