DOCSIS Network Shipments Surge To A Record

Driven by broadband speed upgrades, shipments of DOCSIS channels rocketed to a record 4.8 million worldwide in 2014, a year-over-year increase of 114%, according to Infonetics Research’s latest report on the cable access tech market.

Cable access gear – a category that includes cable modem termination systems (CMTSs), converged cable access platforms (CCAPs), edge QAMs and coaxial media converters – grew 27%, to $1.7 billion, in 2014. Fourth quarter revenues totaled $493 million, an increase of 11%.

Shipments in North America were particularly strong, rising 139% in 2014, with revenues jumping 35%.

But it wasn’t a rosy year for all makers of DOCSIS-powered networking gear. While Arris dominated the market with 48% of global revenue in the sector and Casa Systems turned in a record year, with a revenue increase of 195%, Cisco Systems “had one of its most disappointing years for CCAP/CMTS sales,” Infonetics said.

Infonetics noted that 2014 will be remembered as a “transitional year” as MSOs started to switch from traditional CMTSs to provisional deployments of CCAPs, which are higher-density, power-saving platforms that will combine the functions of the CMTS and edge QAM and pave a path toward an all-IP infrastructure.

From 2013 to 2014, CCAP revenue increased 997% percent, to $1.4 billion, while CMTS revenue dipped 84%, to $155 million, according to Infonetics.

"The continued growth of DOCSIS channel shipments is a strong sign of multiple system operators' (MSOs') ongoing investment to ramp DOCSIS bandwidth and services like IP video by splitting optical nodes and reducing service group sizes via CCAP," said Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics Research, in a statement, noting that channels expansion will continue as operators prepare for DOCSIS 3.1 and remote-PHY platforms, though most growth will come from CCAP products.

But there are bumps in the road, with the pending merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable threatening to exacerbate usual first quarter slowness. With that in mind, Infonetics expects DOCSIS and edge QAM channel shipments to drop 7% in Q1.