Docsis 3.0 Strikes Bonanza

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
albreznick 7/22/2013 | 2:24:03 PM
re: DOCSIS 3.0 Strikes Bonanza Yep, I agree up to a point. Not really fair to throw D3.0 and VDSL into the same bucket. But the report does show how the two main competitive technologies to FTTP are doing. So i think that's pretty relevant. It will be very interesting to see the impact that D3.1 has on the broadband, as well as the telco response to it. it will also be interesting to see just how fast, or not, D3.1 actually gets deployed by MSOs.
davidhoffman 7/21/2013 | 6:02:47 PM
re: DOCSIS 3.0 Strikes Bonanza I dislike these kinds of analysis where DSL and DOCSIS are handled together. DOCSIS 3.0 will see continued or increased investment as the duplicate analog video channels are removed from some cable systems that are going all digital. DOCSIS 3.1 will allow for further increases in broadband capability for cable system operators.

VDSL advances are limited by the fact that investment is only in areas where the VRAD is to be close enough to the central office to keep fiber deployment costs low. Staying within 1000 meters, loop length, of the CO is not going to help many present day ADSL customers get VDSL2 service. The telephone companies may be buying VDSL2 CPE, but they are using it to deliver, at best, an ADSL2+ experience.
tmc8080 7/20/2013 | 7:19:02 PM
re: DOCSIS 3.0 Strikes Bonanza Maybe outside plant equipment, but not ONTs or cablemodems. Chinese companies account for less than 5% of the CPE equipment in homes for cablemodems and 10% for DSL modems. Docsis 3.1 will make its way into the cable market in 2014. (q3 or q4). Actual speed benefits probably won't be seen until 2015 at the earliest so this is a hurry up and wait thing. What remains a wildcard is whether Verizon will hurry up and do tons of truck rolls to get customers off BPONS and onto GPONS..? Doubtful until they are forced to by the competition..
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