Building on its early momentum in the evolving market for Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) equipment, Arris has snared a deployment deal with one of Germany's largest cable operators.
Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) announced Wednesday morning that Unitymedia GmbH has started rolling out the vendor's E6000 Converged Edge Router (CER) in its German cable systems. Now part of the Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) cable empire, Unitymedia is one of Germany's largest MSOs, with 6.6 million video, 2.6 million broadband, and 2.5 fixed-line telephony subscribers. It passes about 12.6 million homes.
The E6000 CER is Arris's entry in the next-gen CCAP category, which covers super-dense headend equipment designed to combine the functions of the cable modem termination system (CMTS) and edge QAM modulator in a more powerful, space-saving, integrated device. Although the E6000 is now essentially a denser CMTS that does not have the edge QAM capabilities for processing video content yet, Arris plans to add those capabilities later this year through software upgrades.
Arris, which announced the Unitymedia deployment at the Cable Congress show in Amsterdam, said the E6000 will enable the German MSO to "deliver 1 Gbit/s capacity to its customers for enhanced broadband data and entertainment services." In a prepared statement, Colin Buechner, chief network officer at Liberty Global, said the Arris CCAP-enabled chassis "enables us to expand our services to a whole new level by providing large increases in capacity in a cost-effective manner."
The Unitymedia deployment comes as the CCAP market is definitely heating up after years of trials and pilot deployments. In the US, for instance, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), and Cox Communications Inc. are all now moving ahead with CCAP launches in their most capacity-challenged markets.
With their flagship products already in place, Casa Systems Inc. and Arris have emerged as the early leaders in the CCAP market, which analysts expect to generate as much as $1.7 billion in revenues for equipment suppliers by 2018. In the latest survey conducted, Casa commanded 57% of the early market while Arris accounted for about 38%. (See Casa Seizes Early CCAP Lead.)
In its latest earnings report last month, Arris said the E6000's deployment base doubled to cover cable systems with more than 2 million subscribers in the fourth quarter, as MSOs began installing the more powerful CCAP devices in their cable headends. Bruce McClelland, president of network & cloud and global services for Arris, said the E6000 accounted for more than half of the company's shipments of broadband infrastructure equipment in the quarter, outstripping its flagship C4 CMTS. (See Arris Rides Capex Wave in Q4.)
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading