Docsis 3.0 Strikes Bonanza
LR Cable News Analysis Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading 7/19/2013
Worldwide shipments of broadband consumer premise equipment (CPE) hit a new high of 144.9 million units last year, thanks in large part to the growth of Docsis 3.0 cable modems, voice modems, routers, gateways and other home devices, according to ABI Research .
In its new report, ABI also predicts that shipments of home cable and DSL devices will continue to rise this year and beyond despite the growing market share of fiber-optic devices as more providers install fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) lines. That's because many telcos are upgrading from ADSL to VDSL technology while many cable operators are still upgrading from Docsis 2.0 to Docsis 3.0 technology.
"Since these advanced technologies allow DSL and cable operators to compete with fiber-optic broadband operators in terms of price and service quality, VDSL and Docsis 3.0 CPE device shipments have grown year-over-year," noted Khin Sandi Lynn, the ABI industry analyst who wrote the report. As a result, ABI expects shipments of broadband CPE devices to climb to 149.4 million units this year.
In particular, ABI said, Docsis 3.0 device shipments are spiking. The report found that equipment vendors shipped 37 million Docsis 3.0 home devices last year, representing 67 percent of all cable CPE shipments. That portion is up from 65 percent in 2011.
ABI predicts that Docsis 3.0's market share will soar much further this year, accounting for a whopping 83 percent of all cable COE shipments by the time 2013 draws to a close.
Why this matters
These latest research findings are significant because they show that the market for new cable and DSL equipment is far from saturated. Even with the growth of FTTP networks (and likely because of it), cable operators and telcos continue to pour money into upgrading their copper and coaxial networks for broadband service.
Moreover, the findings indicate that there should be strong demand for Docsis 3.1 cable modems, voice modems, gateways and other devices when they start rolling off the assembly lines in years to come. CableLabs technologists and other cable engineers are now scrambling to craft the proposed Docsis 3.1 specs in record time so that cable operators can start deploying the new equipment in the next two years.
In the report's vendor rankings, ZTE Corp. and Huawei led the way among broadband CPE makers even though neither is a big player yet in the cable broadband market. ZTE accounted for 14 percent of all broadband device shipments in 2012, while Huawei accounted for 8 percent. The two Chinese manufacturers also dominated the FTTP equipment market last year, collectively accounting for 78 percent of the 30.7 million home devices shipped.
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading