Fiber-optic communications infrastructure is an economic catalyst within the developed regions of the world. In North America, Google Fiber is slowly entering new markets -- such as San Antonio, Texas -- but these deployments are a relatively small part of this broadband network evolution story.
Worldwide broadband customer premise equipment (CPE) shipments are expected to reach 153.6 million by the end of 2015, according to the latest market study by ABI Research.
"Fiber-optic broadband CPE device shipments are expected to increase 12 percent in 2015 although DSL and cable CPE device markets are likely to see a slight decline in total shipments," comments Jake Saunders, VP and practice director at ABI Research.
Since wireline broadband network operators continue to upgrade their networks, the rate of consumer migration to more advanced broadband platforms is increasing -- even if it's slowly in most regions.
The increasing fiber-optic broadband subscriber base is driving the growth in fiber-optic CPE shipments. That said, some parts of the world are dramatically more advanced than others -- they're far and away the global broadband market leaders.
The Asia-Pacific region accounts for more than 70 percent of all fiber-optic CPE shipments for its fast fiber broadband net growth rate. A total of 22 million FTTH subscribers were added in 2014.
In 2015, DSL CPE shipments are expected to drop around 2 percent from 2014. The DSL broadband device market will mainly be driven by the subscribers upgrading to higher speed platforms such as VDSL and G.fast in the years to come.
In the cable CPE market, DOCSIS 3.0 accounts for approximately 90 percent of total shipments.
Cable companies are now testing transmission of the newer cable standard DOCSIS 3.1 which can deliver up to 10 Gbps downstream speed. DOCSIS 3.1 devices are expected to enter the broadband CPE market in late 2016.
According to the ABI Research market data, ZTE maintains the highest market share in the broadband CPE market which includes modems, fixed routers, and residential gateways.
Vendors in China manufacture the vast majority of these CPE devices. ZTE holds around 19 percent of the broadband CPE market in 1Q 2015, which is followed by ARRIS and Huawei.