Cable operators’ rollout of DOCSIS 3.0-based data services and digitization efforts in developing economies were cited as key drivers for MSOs accounting for 25 percent of the world’s fixed broadband subscribers by 2017.
According to recent research by ABI Research, service revenues will reach the $50 billion mark in five years. The research cited DOCSIS 3.0’s higher maximum speeds over telco providers that use DSL services in the United States, Canada and Western Europe as one reason for cable operators’ market share growth.
“Cable MSOs’ marketing focusing on use of advanced services, such as video streaming, and number of devices in the home has encouraged consumers to upgrade to higher-bandwidth tiers,” according to Adarsh Krishnan, senior analyst for TV and video at ABI Research.
The report also said that next-generation, bandwidth-intensive services, including 3-D TV and 4K video resolutions, are driving the development of the next iteration of DOCSIS. While the report mentioned DOCSIS 3.1, cable industry execs at The Cable Show tried to discourage the use of that term since there’s no official designation from CableLabs. One area that DOCSIS 3.1 is reportedly focusing on is faster upstream speeds.
“Intel has demonstrated its Puma 6 modem achieving 1 Gbps downlink using 24 channels, while Arris has tied together 12 modems to achieve 4.7 Gbps downlink,” according to Sam Rosen, practice director of TV and video at ABI Research.
In May, Arris and Kabel Deutschland reached a downstream speed of 4.7 Gbps in a field trial that used existing standards, technology and hardware.
ABI said cable operators in developing regions are entering the market for broadband services using the latest technologies, while often leapfrogging older protocols. Cable MSOs’ ability to offer traditional video services (the cable vendor’s historical business), broadband services and digital VoIP services (using EMTAs) gives cable vendors a triple-play offering that has attracted a large number of consumers, the study said.
As of 2011, China accounted for 57 percent of subscribers in the Asia-Pacific region. Chinese government investment and cable digitization initiatives to promote interplay between TV broadcasters, telecom carriers and Internet operators have been instrumental in this development.