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Week in research: Microwave backhaul rises; Cable's DOCSIS 3 moves drive Q4 CMTS sales

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Microwave backhaul gets packet boost: Offering a complement to traditional wireline copper and fiber-based systems, wireless operators are just a keen on using microwave backhaul. As reported by the Dell'Oro Group, point-to-point microwave equipment revenue grew 9 percent sequentially in Q4 2011. Three main segments--TDM, packet and hybrid-packet-based radios--saw the largest revenue gain of 20 percent quarter-over-quarter. "Packet microwave market revenues grew sequentially at double-digit rates for a third consecutive quarter as operators grow comfortable with packet transport for cell site backhaul," said Jimmy Yu, vice president of microwave transmission research at Dell'Oro. Leading the charge for packet-based microwave backhaul systems was Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) followed by Nokia Siemens Networks and DragonWave. With more wireless operators transitioning to packet-based backhaul to support their respective 4G LTE deployments, Dell'Oro forecast the microwave segment will grow 13 percent in 2012. Release

Cable operators' DOCSIS 3.0 moves drove Q4 CMTS sales: Cable's drive for higher speed data services drove healthy growth in the cable modem termination system (CMTS) segment. In Q4 2011, combined CMTS and edge QAM revenue grew 5 percent, up 17 percent from Q4 2010. While Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: T) slowed down the pace of their respective FiOS and U-verse broadband buildouts, Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and video at Infonetics Research, said that "North American MSOs are continuing theirs, resulting in 94 percent total CMTS port growth in the region in 2011," adding that "every region saw port growth in 2011, as cable operators worldwide continue their DOCSIS 3.0 transformations." On the vendor front, Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) led the pack, growing its revenue market share from 51 to 59 percent of the global market. Release

Infonetics global CMTS

Higher bandwidth, video service needs drive APAC FTTH: In Asia Pacific, the consumer appetite for higher speed bandwidth will drive CAGR up 28 percent from 2010 to 2014. Although Japan and South Korea are near saturation, countries such as China, Singapore and Australia are moving to upgrade their copper lines with fiber to support video services. As voice service ARPU (average revenue per user) continues to decline, service providers in these regions are seeing data and video services become major revenue drivers. Video services, says TechNavio, offers the highest ARPU to telecom operators, which is the main reason service providers are purchasing FTTH equipment. Release