Broadband equipment vendors can thank their lucky stars for cable's Docsis 3.0 standard.
While CableLabs technologists scramble to craft the next-gen Docsis 3.1 specs, the cable industry's broadband flagship standard, Docsis 3.0, is driving vendor equipment sales across the globe. So are fixed LTE gateways as service providers continue to roll out faster, wider-band technologies to feed customers' insatiable need for speed.
In its latest vendor survey, Infonetics Research Inc. reported that the worldwide customer premise equipment (CPE) market grew 8 percent from the first quarter and 29 percent from a year earlier to $2.7 billion in the second quarter. At that pace, broadband CPE sales will easily top $10 billion this year.
Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband services and pay TV at Infonetics, credits much of the gain to the rise in Docsis 3.0 modem and gateway shipments, at least in the cable sector. "In particular, Docsis 3.0 shipments now clearly outweigh Docsis 2.0," he said in a press release.
Certainly, Docsis 3.0 has been good for Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS), one of the cable industry's top equipment suppliers along with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). Infonetics found that Arris, which previously reported that Docsis 3.0 devices accounted for a whopping 90 percent of the Docsis-powered products that it shipped in the spring, ranked second behind only the Chinese powerhouse Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in second-quarter CPE broadband marketshare.
Unlike Arris, Huawei mainly benefited from the quarter's other major development -- the rise in fixed LTE gateway shipments. Infonetics said Huawei is "a major early provider of fixed LTE CPE" that showed a surge in shipments to the Middle East, Africa, the Philippines, and other parts of Southeast Asia. Heynen said this "surprising" increase "reflects the growing use of fixed LTE by operators in some markets to complement their existing fixed broadband services and extend their broadband footprint in rural markets and where physical infrastructure isn't available."
In another trend, intelligent, video-capable gateways are showing signs of catching on as more network operators roll out connected-home and multi-screen video services, Infonetics said. Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) equipment sales continued their increase, rising 7 percent from the first quarter.
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading