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Cable modem/CMTS

Cisco, Harmonic Rule Cable Access in Q2

Most cable network gear suppliers ate well in the second quarter, but Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT) carved out the thickest steaks.

Cisco captured the bulk of cable modem termination system (CMTS) revenues in the period, while Harmonic recaptured the edge QAM crown from BigBand Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: BBND) in the period, according to fresh data from Infonetics Research Inc.

For Cisco, the capturing of 58 percent of worldwide CMTS revenues marked its return to the top of the heap, following a hiccup in 2009 that saw Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) jump out in front. (See Cisco's CMTS Comeback and Arris Beats Cisco in CMTS for '09.)

Broadly speaking, Docsis 3.0 deployments set the table for Cisco's big second quarter, but the more specific reason was the availability of the vendor's new CMTS products, including a 20-upstream/20-downstream port card for its flagship CMTS, the uBR10012, and an 8x8 card that boosts upstream capacity and extends the life of Cisco's smaller uBR7200 Series CMTS. (See Cisco Alters CMTS Vision With '20/20' Card and Cisco Packs On Wideband Muscle .)

Cisco's downstream-heavy Shared Port Adapters (SPAs) are also continuing to gain traction, Infonetics directing analyst for broadband access Jeff Heynen tells Light Reading Cable.

He expects Cisco to stay at or near the top for the rest of the year. However, Arris, which was dominant in 2009, could be positioned to take another run at Cisco in 2011 as its higher-density CMTS cards take hold, Heynen says.

However, he warns that cable may "take a bit of a break" on CMTS capacity in 2011 as operators continue to bulk up this year for D3 upgrades, lay the foundation for IP video services, and take advantage of low loan interest rates.

On the edge QAM front, Harmonic dethroned BigBand as the top dog, claiming 36 percent of a global market that rose 8 percent versus the earlier quarter. According to Heynen, BigBand held on to second place, followed by Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Cisco, and Arris. Those names may shuffle around a bit later this year based on recent changes to Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC)'s edge QAM buying habits. (See Arris Wins at Time Warner Cable .)

Like Cisco with CMTS, Harmonic's jump is a return to the top, where it has historically been due to its dominant share of the video-on-demand (VoD) edge QAM market.

The global CMTS and edge QAM market grew 10 percent in the second quarter over the previous period, according to Infonetics. Most (72 percent) of that growth came from the Asia/Pacific region, followed by Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) (23 percent), and North America (17 percent).

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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