Cable capex set to rebound with digital infrastructure in 2013

Michelle Clancy | 02-03-2013

When it comes to cable capex, the global story is a bit of a mixed bag, but one with some gold in the bottom of it, new research from Infonetics has revealed.
For the full year 2012, CMTS (essentially the digital routers in the headends) and edge QAM (which convert signals to digital channels) revenue decreased 15%, to $1.39 billion. However, the research firm expects to see a bounce-back for 2013, when revenue should grow 20%.
The decline last year was due to lacklustre ASPs and channel shipments, which edged the market down for the third consecutive quarter in Q4. That revenue fell 1% sequentially, to $284 million.
However, new digital and all-IP services will come to the rescue this year.
“Though 2012 was a down year for cable broadband, the stage is set for a strong 2013,” said Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics Research. “Cable operators worldwide have a number of bandwidth-hungry applications on tap that will drive CMTS and edge QAM channel growth throughout the year, including DOCSIS 3.0, multiscreen services via the deployment of new video gateways, and carrier Wi-Fi services.”
In terms of market share, Cisco held onto its perennial No 1 CMTS revenue market share position in the fourth quarter, though No 2 ARRIS, the leader in channel shipments, managed to grow its share by 6 percentage points.
In the edge QAM segment, Cisco edged out Harmonic to claim the top spot for the first time ever in the fourth quarter. Even so, Harmonic closed out 2012 as the edge QAM leader.
North America was a bright spot in 2012, turning in a contrary 7% increase in CMTS and edge QAM revenue in the fourth quarter of 2012, up from third-quarter numbers.