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Report: North American cable modem sales up 50%, thanks to D3

Wed, 07/18/2012 - 2:12pm
Mike Robuck

Infonetics chartDOCSIS 3.0 rollouts pushed cable modem sales to increase by more than 50 percent when compared with the same timeframe a year ago, according to a recent report.

Primarily driven by DOCSIS 3.0 upgrades in North America, Infonetics Research’s study also found that worldwide cable modem sales were up 10 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the preceding quarter.

Other than Time Warner Cable, cable operators in North America haven’t broken out the number of wideband subscribers, but data subscriber additions have helped offset the loss of basic video subscribers. Despite a slow start on wideband launches, Time Warner Cable announced in its recent first-quarter earnings report that it had added a record number of 73,000 DOCSIS 3.0 subscribers to bring its wideband total to 218,000 residential customers.

“The growth we’re seeing in wideband CPE revenue shows that the infrastructure investments made by operators in DOCSIS 3.0 equipment over the past few years are now paying off in new subscribers and upgrades to existing subscribers’ services,” said Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and video at Infonetics Research. “North America is a hotbed for wideband activity right now, with wideband CPE shipments up more than 50 percent from the same time last year, illustrating that the cable companies are making a consistent effort to move subscribers to DOCSIS 3.0 service tiers. This is something we haven’t seen until now.”

On the vendor front, Infonetics’ report said that Huawei and ZTE were neck and neck for overall broadband CPE revenue market share. For the first quarter of this year, Huawei edged out ZTE for the top spot. Both vendors are leading suppliers of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) customer premises equipment to China Telecom and China Unicom.

The global broadband customer premises equipment market, including DSL, cable and FTTH, grew 4 percent from the fourth quarter to the first quarter to $1.76 billion.

FTTH CPE continued to grow, with 1.25G EPON optical network terminal (ONT) and 2.5G GPON ONT residential gateway revenue up by double digits in the first quarter.

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