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Cable Broadband Market Resists Downside

Infonetics Research released the results of the first quarter (1Q09) edition of its Cable Broadband Aggregation Hardware and Subscribers market study.

"On the heels of record-high revenue in 2008 ($1.23 billion), the cable broadband hardware market held steady in the first quarter of 2009, while the cable CPE segment dropped," said Jeff Heynen, Infonetics Research's Directing Analyst for Broadband and Video.

This first quarter slowdown points to a challenging 2009, in which an ailing economy and aggressive telco competition will make adding new broadband subscribers difficult.

Still, compared to the overall downturn in telecom equipment spending in 1Q09, the cable broadband market was somewhat of a bright spot, and proves that cable operators remain committed to expanding their DOCSIS 3.0 footprint -- transitioning from T-CMTS and I-CMTS to M-CMTS architectures, and introducing hybrid IP/QAM video services to support tru2way and DVB-MHP services.

Highlights of the market study include:

- Worldwide cable broadband hardware (CMTS, universal edge QAMs) revenue held steady in 1Q09 from 4Q08, down just 0.2 percent.

- CMTS sales actually inched up a bit (0.9 percent) in 1Q09 from 4Q08.

- Operators are expected to take as much of a break as they can in 2009 to digest all the downstream capacity they deployed in 2008, and also to be more strategic with their DOCSIS 3.0 related rollouts.

- Although Cisco leads the overall worldwide market, ARRIS extended its key revenue share lead in the pivotal North American market by nearly 7 percentage points.

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