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Cable TV Counterpunch to the IPTV Contender

The worldwide cable TV industry is in a race to provision a "three-screen" service that starts with HDTV sets, maps over to broadband-connected PCs, and then follows subscribers around during the day on cell phones or other portable devices, reports In-Stat.

As a result, continued growth in cable TV infrastructure equipment with sales rising from about $925.4 million during 2006 to more than $2.1 billion in 2010. "The cable TV industry is working diligently to connect all the infrastructure dots in the race to provision a three-screen telecommunications service," says Gerry Kaufhold, In-Stat analyst.

"System operators are building out Super Headends and upgrading Local Headends to provide the economies of scale needed to provide the greatest number of services, over the greatest geographical reach, at the lowest possible cost. Fixed Mobile Convergence, or FMC, will become a fast-growing market for cable operators, and they will disrupt the cell phone industry."

In-Stat's study found the following:

- High Definition TV services and Video-on-Demand are expanding, driving plant upgrades for improved Gigabit Ethernet video switches, Switched Digital Video (SDV), more QAM channels, and widening deployments of 1 GHz Final Mile equipment.

- Modular Cable Modem Termination Systems (Modular CMTS) and wide band cable modems are being brought into play to upgrade High Speed Data services to compete against telcos' ADSL, VDSL, and Fiber-to-the-Home.

- Comcast, Cox, Time-Warner and Advance/Newhouse have a joint venture with Sprint Nextel that will begin offering cable-branded cellular phone services later this year in the U.S. Later on, Fixed Mobile Convergence will add innovative video services and wireless extensions to the Cable TV infrastructure, and disrupt the cell phone market.

- The cable TV industry is still rapidly deploying Voice-over-IP services.

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