The broadband aggregation equipment market has dipped in most regions, but service providers were spending in North America to combat cable operators’ DOCSIS 3.0 deployments.

Spending on DSL, PON and FTTH equipment decreased 7 percent from the fourth quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year for a total of $1.5 billion worldwide, according to a recent report by Infonetics Research.

DSL chart“The broadband aggregation equipment market is off to a difficult start this year, with overall revenue down both sequentially and from the year-ago first quarter, though there is significant disparity in results between regions and technologies,” said  Jeff Heynen, principal analyst, broadband access and pay TV, Infonetics Research. “The EMEA region (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) was hit hardest, with spending on DSL, PON, and FTTH equipment down 27 percent from the previous quarter, putting an end to three consecutive quarters of growth.

“In China, we saw a big drop in EPON spending, but an eighth consecutive quarter of growth for GPON as China Telecom and China Unicom continue their GPON-based FTTH deployments to provide 20M access to subscribers. Meanwhile, North America bucked the trend and avoided its typical first-quarter softness as operators increased spending to fight the aggressive DOCSIS 3.0 initiatives by cable operators.”

Other first quarter highlights from the report included:


* PON equipment revenue in EMEA dropped 50 percent in the first quarter, following two quarters of double-digit increases, due to seasonality and the conclusion of initial GPON purchases by Russian and Middle Eastern operators

* Despite a 5 percent decline in worldwide GPON revenue and a 4 percent decrease in EPON equipment revenue, Huawei maintained its worldwide revenue lead in the overall broadband aggregation equipment market, with 33 percent market share

* Alcatel-Lucent stayed in second-place in the overall broadband aggregation market, followed by ZTE, which is having a tough few quarters as it gouges prices to win a piece of China Telecom’s FTTX business.