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MSO Cable Invest in Voice, Data, and Video

Worldwide cable modem termination system (CMTS) revenue jumped 30 percent to $257 million in 1Q06 after a 6 percent drop in 4Q05, with annual revenue forecast to reach $1.2 billion in 2009, according to Infonetics Research.

The surge in the CMTS market, particularly in North America, is being fueled by the rapid success MSOs are having in signing up new VoIP subscribers, along with their desire to deliver more bandwidth to existing subscribers to support new voice, data, and video services.

"Cable operators are feeling the heat from Verizon's and AT&T's fiber and higher bandwidth DSL offerings, so they're investing in more CMTS units and ports to increase bandwidth to their subscribers," said Jeff Heynen, directing analyst at Infonetics Research. "New DOCSIS 3.0-compliant CMTSs are now beginning to ship that will allow cable operators to double and triple the bandwidth to their subscribers. To counter the telcos' triple-play offerings, cable operators are going for a quadruple-play offering through new services like video over DOCSIS and integration with wireless offerings."

The number of worldwide cable broadband subscribers totaled 46.4 million in 2005, a 14 percent jump from 2004, and is expected to increase another 50 percent between 2005 and 2009, when it will reach 69.6 million. North America continues to be the regional stronghold of cable broadband subscribers, with 56 percent of the world total in 2005.

1Q06 Highlights:

- Cisco, Arris, and Motorola capture 95 percent of worldwide CMTS market revenue.
- Cisco's worldwide CMTS revenue share is up 10 points to 61 percent, Arris' share is down 4 points, Motorola's is down 8 points, while BigBand's doubled.
- Cisco nearly doubled its North American CMTS revenue as cable operators here are seeing significant uptake in VoIP subscribers, and Cisco is largely filling the resulting port demand.
- Downstream port shipments jumped 46 percent and upstream ports jumped 44 percent from 4Q05; 81 percent of worldwide CMTS ports were upstream, and 19 percent downstream.
- 62 percent of CMTS revenue came from North America, 18 percent from EMEA, 16 percent from Asia Pacific, and 4 percent from CALA.

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