Cable modem/CMTS

The CMTS Horserace

The fourth quarter of 2007 was a good time to be in the cable modem termination system (CMTS) business… provided you were among the top three vendors in the category.

According to fresh data from Ovum RHK Inc. , CMTS port shipments reached a record in the fourth quarter, up 21 percent from the prior period, and up 5 percent from the year-ago quarter. But taken as a whole, 2007 was relatively flat, with CMTS port shipments rising just 1 percent, according to the research firm.

With so much emphasis on pre-Docsis 3.0 activity and a new breed of ultra-dense CMTS blades, we’ll expect downstream port sales to keep the prime pumped as we head further into 2008. (See CMTS Downstream Prices Plummet.)

By the end of last year, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), with 50 percent of the market, continued to lead the way, followed by Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) (35 percent) and Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) (12 percent). This once again demonstrates that BigBand Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: BBND)'s decision to bail out of the mature, rock-hard sector was likely a good one. (See BigBand Terminates CMTS.) All three leading CMTS vendors enjoyed double-digit sequential gains in the period.

While that certainly aided Arris, it did little to help with its shipments of embedded multimedia terminal adapters as Thomson S.A. (NYSE: TMS; Euronext Paris: 18453) came on the scene at Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK). (See Arris Aims to Rebound and Arris Slammed on Q4.)

-- Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to Docsis 3.0 Strategies: From Product Development to Service Deployment, a conference that will take a comprehensive look at the cable industry's plans to roll out its next-generation architecture around the world. To be staged in Denver on March 19, admission is free for attendees meeting our prequalification criteria. For more information, or to register, click here.

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