Arris Prefers TI for VoIP Gear

Arris Group Inc. has signed a deal making Texas Instruments Inc. the preferred voice-over-Internet protocol silicon and software vendor for its Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification and EuroDOCSIS voice-enabled cable modems.

Arris and Motorola are the two primary suppliers of VoIP modems in the U.S. market, and TI also has a deal for Motorola products, said Dennis Rauschmayer, director of marketing for TI’s cable-modem business unit.

“It’s a very, very interesting market,” he said, as TI has seen a large uptick on VoIP modems this year. “It’s crossed the critical mass market.”

TI will supply Arris with its new Puma IV architecture and will work on new VoIP features going forward, he said. One feature: built-in wireless support in TI silicon and software. For instance, new modems would be able to support the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) codec.

“Then you could have and end-to-end terminal equipment speaking the same codec,” he said — communication that would allow MSOs to offer a wireless hand-off service to their VoIP customers.

Another feature would integrate technology to let cable VoIP subscribers seamlessly use their fax modems, he said.

TI said it has now shipped more than 2 million voice ports inside VoIP cable modems. Kinetic Strategies recently estimated that 615,000 VoIP modems are in the hands of broadband service suppliers worldwide.

Rauschmayer said TI values the Arris deal because of the company’s knowledge about the cable business.

“We will work with them to go through the qualification process with the MSOs,” he said.

The deal will help improve TI’s market share of the voice-enabled cable-modem market, he said.