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Raining on BigBand's Parade

Alan Breznick

At the risk of sounding like we're dumping on BigBand Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: BBND) this week, Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT) begs to differ with its rival's claim to be the first QAM vendor to support both switched digital video (SDV) and modular cable modem termination system (M-CMTS) deployments.

Harmonic, which competes fiercely with BigBand in the increasingly congested "universal" edge QAM market, points to its June announcement of an M-CMTS trial with Korean MSO Qrix Communications Inc. For the M-CMTS trial, Qrix is relying on Harmonic's NSG 9000 universal edge QAM, which has also been used by cable operators for SDV and video-on-demand (VOD) deployments as well as Docsis 3.0 trials.

"We have been doing that for some time," says David Price, VP of product marketing and marketing communications for Harmonic, which introduced its latest edge QAM device more than a year ago. "The NSG 9000 is a bloody good product."

While BigBand boasts that it has deployed more edge QAMs for SDV applications than any other tech vendor in Cableland, Harmonic insists that it's still the leader in the overall edge QAM market, which includes older VOD applications. "Frankly, our position is that we're by far and away the most deployed edge QAM," Price says.

We're not going to choose sides in this match yet. May the edgier QAM win.

— Alan Breznick, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

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