Cable Modem Shipments Set New Record
LR Cable News Analysis Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading 4/20/2007
Total global shipments of Docsis cable modems and PacketCable embedded multimedia terminal adapters (E-MTAs) surged to 29.1 million units in 2006, according to the latest data compiled by Cable Digital News. That represents about a 30 percent jump from the 22.4 million broadband Docsis devices that cable tech vendors shipped in 2005.
As usual lately, E-MTAs, which integrate cable modems with PacketCable IP phone adapters, accounted for the bulk of the growth in Docsis device shipments. As cable operators in the U.S., Canada, and the rest of the world ramped up their rollouts of VOIP service throughout the year, global voice modem shipments nearly doubled to 12.1 million units, up from 6.6 million units in 2005.
Due to such strong growth, E-MTAs accounted for an impressive 41.5 percent of all Docsis device shipments by the leading cable tech vendors in 2006. That's a big hike from a 29.4 percent share in 2005 and a mere 9.6 percent share in 2004.
Worldwide shipments of data-only cable modems also climbed in 2006, albeit far more modestly than E-MTA shipments. Docsis modem shipments rose to 17.0 million units last year, up from 15.8 million units in 2005 and the former peak of 16.1 million units in 2004.
Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS), which took over first place in the rapidly growing E-MTA category in 2005, widened its edge over previous category leader Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) last year even as both companies boosted their numbers substantially. Arris reported shipping 4.8 million voice modems in 2006, slightly more than double its total of 2.3 million E-MTAs in 2005. As a result, the firm captured 40.1 percent of the market, up from 35.7 percent the year before.
Motorola fell further behind Arris in the worldwide E-MTA rankings even though it more than doubled its unit shipments last year and increased its overall market share. Moto shipped 3.7 million voice modems in 2006, up from 1.6 million in 2005. Consequently, it earned a 30.4 percent market share, up from 23.6 percent in 2005.
Third-place Scientific Atlanta also enjoyed a strong year in E-MTA sales, even as it lost ground to Arris and Motorola. S-A shipped 2.4 million voice modems in 2006, up from 1.4 million units in 2005. Yet its market share slipped to 19.7 percent, down from 21.5 percent the year before.
Other leading cable tech vendors also registered E-MTA shipment gains in 2006. But none of the others captured more than 3.9 percent of the overall market.
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