Mixed start to 2015 for cable broadband equipment market

DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 10 June 2015

Coping with a number of mergers, buy-outs and general economic and technical issues, the cable broadband equipment market has produced mixed, if not as poor as expected, results for the first quarter of 2015.

According to a report from IHS looking at CCAP, CMTS, and Edge QAM hardware, channel shipments grew to 1.8 million in the first quarter of 2015, a 14% sequential increase, and a gain of 48% year-on-year.

Furthermore, as MSOs continued major upgrades to their broadband networks, cable DOCSIS, CCAP, CMTS, CMC and edge QAM infrastructures, revenue fell 7% sequentially in Q1 2015, to $474 million.

To date, very few cable operators have deployed video QAM channels on their CCAP-capable platforms, tamping the long-term outlook for these channels. Yet the analyst noted that even though the failed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable was expected to dampen the key North American region in Q1, and despite a number of what it called 'headwinds', the overall cable broadband market remained healthy, setting the stage for a strong rest of the year. In terms of players, ARRIS dominated the cable broadband market again in Q1 2015, supported in part by the early availability of its E6000 CCAP-capable product.

"The cable broadband market got off to a mixed start in the first quarter. Despite the first quarter typically being a slow one, DOCSIS channels increased yet again," said Jeff Heynen, research director for broadband access and pay-TV at IHS. "But revenue was down due to a combination of aggressive pricing and a higher proportion of software licences."