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Broadband Service Providers Invest in Fiber Access

Infonetics Research released excerpts from its first quarter (1Q10) Broadband CPE and Subscribers market study, which tracks DSL and cable broadband customer-premise equipment (CPE) and subscribers, voice CPE, residential gateways, and voice terminal adapters.

The first quarter of the year is usually one of the worst for the broadband customer premise equipment market, as net subscriber additions and new CPE sales slow after the much better third and fourth quarters.

This quarter was also hurt by lingering economic difficulties worldwide, which are keeping many consumers from upgrading their existing broadband CPE to support new services.

"In particular, we saw a big drop in ADSL CPE in 1Q10, as operators are focused on deploying FTTH and VDSL2 services and are spending less to market their basic broadband services. All in all, 2010 will be a difficult year for CPE vendors, as operators see fewer new subscribers and will do what they can to use their existing inventory rather than purchase new equipment," predicts Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband and video at Infonetics Research.

Highlights from the Infonetics market study include:

- In 1Q10, the worldwide broadband CPE market totaled $967.3 million, down 13 percent from 4Q09.

- After moving back into first place last quarter after a difficult early 2009, Technicolor (Thomson) held on to the number one position in worldwide total broadband CPE revenue, just ahead of Huawei and of Motorola.

- Due to slowing cable subscriber growth and the fact that many cable subscribers will hold on to their DOCSIS 2.0 CPE for a long time, DOCSIS 3.0 CPE sales are expected to be negatively impacted.

- Infonetics expects VDSL CPE sales to soften as many major telcos move to direct fiber to the home (FTTH), rather than via FTTB or FTTN and VDSL2.

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