Heavy Reading Unveils Cable Next-Gen Technology Tracker

For the past couple of years, we've been reporting and analyzing the latest trends in the cable industry's adoption of next-generation video and broadband technologies. From switched digital video (SDV) and tru2way to Docsis 3.0 and PacketCable 2.0, we've been covering the industry's shift from the largely proprietary, analog networks of the past to the increasingly standards-driven, digital, IP-based networks of the present and future.

Now, with the lineup of advanced cable technologies and services still expanding, Heavy Reading has just put together its first quarterly market tracker devoted to the industry's next-gen video, data, and voice initiatives. This comprehensive new research product – distributed in PowerPoint format – tracks the moves by MSOs and equipment vendors to develop common technical standards and upgrade cable networks for digital TV, high-definition TV (HDTV), interactive TV, digital video recorder (DVR), high-speed data, voice over IP (VOIP), multimedia, and other new services.

More specifically, the "Cable Next-Generation Technology Quarterly Market Tracker" breaks down MSO capital spending patterns on network upgrades quarter-by-quarter. The tracker also monitors vendor shipments and MSO deployments of digital, HDTV, and DVR set-top boxes, CableCARD modules, and SDV and tru2way hardware and software.

In addition, the tracker charts vendor shipments of Docsis cable modems and embedded multimedia terminal adapters (E-MTAs), as well as Cable Television Laboratories Inc. (CableLabs) approvals of Docsis 3.0 products and MSO testing and deployment plans for Docsis 3.0 technology around the world. Finally, it provides the latest, in-depth forecasts on MSO capex, digital set-top box shipments, SDV and tru2way deployments, cable modem and E-MTA shipments, and MSO Docsis 3.0 deployments.

Here are some highlights from the new tracker:

  • Cable industry infrastructure expenditures will keep rising through at least 2010, as North American MSOs upgrade their plant and equipment for the rollout of such new technologies as SDV, tru2way, and Docsis 3.0. We predict that MSO capex will surpass the $14 billion mark in 2008 for the first time in six years, and continue climbing past the $15 billion mark next year.

  • Digital set-top shipments will nearly double over the next three years as cable operators seek to take advantage of the U.S.'s upcoming DTV transition by signing up new video subscribers. At the same time, HD and DVR box shipments will keep rising steadily.

  • Despite some unexpected delays earlier this year, U.S. and Canadian cable operators will substantially boost their deployment of SDV technology over the next few years, as they scramble to find more bandwidth for HD and other new services.

  • Deployments of tru2way interactive TV and set-tops will start taking off next year, thanks to new industry agreements, regulatory pressure from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) , and the threat of a proposed competing standard from the consumer electronics industry.

  • Cable modem and E-MTA shipments will continue to climb globally, due largely to the rollout of the new Docsis 3.0 spec and the growing adoption of cable VOIP services worldwide. Rapidly growing E-MTA shipments may finally match or pass data modem shipments this year.

  • Despite getting off to a slow start this year, the Docsis 3.0 spec will enjoy a big surge of momentum in 2009 and 2010, as cable operators start wheeling out the spec in key markets. In particular, MSOs will introduce Docsis 3.0 service in areas where they compete with telco fiber networks.

— Alan Breznick, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

For more information, or a FREE PREVIEW of the "Cable Next-Gen Technology Quarterly Market Tracker," please contact:

    Lee Salem
    Sales Director – Custom Research, Heavy Reading
    [email protected]

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