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Broadband Cable TV Equipment Market Downside

Infonetics Research released its 2010 third quarter market study of the Cable TV hardware systems and services industry. The results are mixed; there are several significant declines, and the future is somewhat uncertain -- with no sign of an imminent recovery.

After four quarters of sequential growth, a decline in the cable aggregation systems market was inevitable, and it happened in the third quarter of 2010, with a 23 percent drop in worldwide revenue -- CMTS revenue was down 27 percent; edge QAM revenue was up slightly.

"In North America, CMTS revenue was down 30 percent, as Comcast and other operators slowed their DOCSIS 3.0 rollouts because they've either reached their homes-passed goals or they are waiting on new line cards," notes Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access at Infonetics Research.

The Infonetics market study included the following findings:

- CMTS port shipments and revenue declined in all world regions in 3Q10, including double-digit percent declines in North America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA.

- The drop in CMTS sales pushed the overall market down to $352 million worldwide in 3Q10, from $458 in 2Q10.

- The overall cable broadband equipment market is up 15 percent year-over-year, from 3Q09 to 3Q10.

- Worldwide edge QAM revenue increased just over 1 percent from 2Q10 to 3Q10 due to an uptick in QAM channels shipped for DOCSIS/M-CMTS applications.

- Motorola was the only major CMTS vendor to see an increase in port shipments in 3Q10, increasing its shipments to operators in Asia Pacific and Central and Latin America.

- Cisco maintained its lead in worldwide CMTS market share, and also captured more than two-thirds of the North American CMTS market in 3Q10.

- Harmonic held on to the top spot among edge QAM vendors, further distancing itself from BigBand Networks.

- Comcast's proposed converged multiservice access platform (CMAP) is expected to see trials and early deployments in 2011, and will rely on both edge QAMs to deliver increased narrowcast video capacity, and CMTS downstream ports to deliver more DOCSIS capacity to subscribers.

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