France’s largest cable operator, Numericable, is betting at least part of its future on Casa Systems, the cable industry’s smallest provider of cable modem termination systems (CMTSs).
Casa announced Monday that it has snagged Numericable as a customer for its current-generation CMTS, known as the C10G. The big French MSO, which passes more than 9.8 million homes, said it will rely on the C10G to support its rollout of advanced high-speed data and VoIP services that can deliver downstream speeds of more than 100 Mbit/s to subscribers.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Numericable, which also uses CMTSs from Cisco Systems, actually started installing the Casa C10G devices in its cable systems late last year. But, as is typical of many cable operators, the MSO didn’t get around to confirming that choice publicly until now.
Even more notably, though, Casa broadly hinted that Numericable might then upgrade to Casa’s next-generation CMTS model, the C100G, for greater capacity sometime soon. The new C100G, which Casa just unveiled last week and will demonstrate at next week’s Cable Show in Washington, D.C., is the first integrated CMTS on the market to support the cable industry’s next-gen Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) architecture. (See Casa Unveils First Integrated CCAP.)
In its press release, Casa didn’t actually say that Numericable will test and deploy the C100G, which is a new, denser chassis that combines the functions and features of a CMTS and edge QAM modulator in one device in the cable headend. But, in a prepared statement, Jerry Guo, founder and CEO of Casa, said his company will “be part of their [Numericable] CCAP rollout in the near future,” indicating that the French MSO may at least be planning to test the new chassis.
Under questioning, a Casa spokesman said Numericable has not committed to deploying the C100G yet. But he said company executives believe Numericable will upgrade to the C100G “when capacity requirements call for it.”
If so, that would make Numericable one of the first, if not the first, large MSOs in the world to roll out Casa’s new integrated CCAP. Last week company officials said they have started deploying the C100G in “live field trials” or lab trials with at least two undisclosed North American and European MSOs that are also testing the company’s DS8X96 downstream modules, following a series of earlier lab trials.
Casa also counts such other large MSOs as Liberty Global, Shenzhen Topway Video Communication of China, Citycable of Switzerland and Mediacom Communications in the U.S. as CMTS customers. So it will be interesting to see if they follow Numericable’s lead.
Casa is competing against such larger equipment makers as Cisco, Arris, CommScope and Harmonic in the emerging CCAP market, which is expected to start taking off later this year and in 2014. Multimedia Research Group estimates that the CCAP market will generate more than $1 billion in revenues by 2017.
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading