Arris ‘Racing to the Finish Line’ on WorldBox 2.0

Arris CEO Bruce McClelland offered a small glimpse into the progress being made with WorldBox 2.0, a next-gen video platform that Charter Communications expects to roll out across its footprint.

“We’re racing to the finish line as we speak,” Bruce McClelland, Arris’s CEO, said on the company’s Q2 earnings call, but didn’t offer an update on timing of Charter’s deployment.

“Certainly, the sleeves are up in terms of development, and integration activities are progressing,” added Larry Robinson, president of Arris’s consumer premises equipment division, added.

Last fall, Arris announced it was selected as a “key participant” in the development of WorldBox 2.0. Like the earlier version (Cisco Systems, which has since sold its set-top unit to Technicolor, and Humax were among the known initial suppliers of the device), the 2.0 iteration of the device will also be a hybrid IP/QAM platform but is expected to be more cost-effective than its predecessor.  

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The new WorldBox platform will also support a cloud-based guide and user experience guide that involves ActiveVideo, now a joint venture co-owned by Arris and Charter.

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In Q2, Arris CPE-related sales were down 1.2% year-on-year, with video devices representing $667 million, or 58%, of that business and broadband driving $489 million, or 42%, of that total.

The bright spot was broadband sales CPE, with sales rising 15.2% sequentially and 17.8% year-over-year. Arris said DOCSIS unit volume shipments reached record levels in Q2, via a combo of DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1 devices.

Out on the network, Arris said it’s making progress with a distributed access architecture (DAA) approach that enables MSOs to digitize their optics and place some capacity deeper into the network.

Arris has trials underway with the E6000 operating as a virtual MAC core and remote PHY modules in the company’s existing fiber node platforms, Dan Whalen, president of Arris’s network and cloud unit, said.

Arris, he added, expects to reach full commercial deployments with DAA in Q1 2018 “with several customers.”

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Arris’s proposed acquisition of Ruckus Wireless is delayed, as it hinges on the closing of the Brocade-Broadcom merger, though Arris still anticipates closing that deal in early Q4.

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Arris posted Q2 GAAP revenue of $1.66 billion, down $66 million, or 4%, and GAAP net income of 16 cents per diluted share.

Arris expects Q2 revenue of $1.74 billion to $1.79 billion, and GAAP net income per diluted share of $0.23 to $0.28.