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Gartner: Cable access gear revenue down

Thu, 09/26/2002 - 8:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

Global revenue for cable access platforms, a sector that includes cable modem termination systems (CMTSs), dropped by more than 9 percent to $181.9 million in the first half of 2002, Gartner Dataquest revealed in a new report ("Cable Broadband Access Platform Shipments Fall as Service Providers Tighten their Belts, 1H2002 Market Share and Forecast 2002-2006"). In comparison, the sector pulled down about $201.1 million in the first half of 2001, the research firm said.

Gartner Dataquest forecasts that the cable access platform market is likely to recover by 2006, "but will only reach and possibly slightly exceed revenue levels reached in 2000, or approximately $656.7 million."

The firm said the decline in the first half of this year was due to the general trend toward curbed capital spending by cable operators and other broadband service providers.

Gartner Dataquest Principal Analyst Patti Reali noted that MSOs are not buying equipment to foster IP telephony services in big numbers yet, and that several operators have introduced tiered data services without the need to migrate to gear based on the QoS-sensitive DOCSIS 1.1 specification. Although cable operators are starting to buy and install 1.1-qualified CMTSs, they aren't necessarily leveraging 1.1's features.

Even when MSOs ramp up their VoIP spending - perhaps as early as 2004 - the industry will still require a lengthy period before the service gains traction in the market, Reali said, noting that three years passed before traditional circuit-switched telephony services started to take off for MSOs such as AT&T Broadband and Cox Communications.

According to Gartner Dataquest, Cisco Systems Inc. led CMTS vendors by mid-2002 with 57.3 percent of the market. ADC Telecommunications, bolstered by its line of "Cuda" CMTS equipment, usurped the number two slot from Motorola Broadband with 19 percent of the market. Motorola Broadband was third with an 8 percent market share, but could see a stronger second half, thanks in part to a deal it announced this week with Cox Communications, which is deploying an unspecified number of Motorola BSR 64000 CMTSs in four markets (Las Vegas, San Diego, New England and Omaha).

Rounding out the CMTS sector, Terayon Communication Systems was fourth with 7.6 percent of the market, followed by Arris (2.7 percent) and Com21 Inc. (2.6 percent).

Worldwide, DOCSIS-based gear dominated the category in the first half of 2002 with an 86.6 percent market share and $157.5 million in revenues.

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