Nokia completes sale of Gainspeed cable portfolio to Vecima Networks

Nokia wraps up the sale of its Gainspeed cable portfolio to Vecima Networks. (Pixabay)

For the second time, Gainspeed is on the move after Nokia completed the sell-off of its Gainspeed cable assets to Vecima Networks.

Nokia and Vecima Networks announced on Monday that the deal, which was first announced July 29, had been completed. Nokia snapped up Gainspeed four years ago as part of its foray into the cable access network market.

Gainspeed's portfolio of products includes a centrally controlled Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) solution with unified support for Flexible MAC DAA nodes for Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial (HFC) networks and DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON (DPoE) nodes for fiber-to-the-home and business. It also has a DAA video engine and a chassis based EPON/DPoE solution for non-HFC network implementations.

The companies previously said that employees who previously supported the Nokia DOCSIS DAA and EPON/DPoE portfolios were expected to make the move to Vecima.

CommScope/Arris, Cisco, Harmonic and Casa Systems also have DAA solutions available, but, other than Comcast, the uptake has been slow by cable operators.

Last year, Nokia notched a DAA customer win with Altibox, which is a regional telecommunication operator in Norway and Denmark. Altibox is deploying Nokia's Gainspeed Unified Cable Access solution, which is based on a fully virtualized distributed access architecture (vDAA).

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"Likely, the return to a smaller, exclusively cable-focused business will pay dividends for the group that was—and remains—at the forefront of remote MACPHY and flexible MAC architectures," said Dell'Oro Group's Jeff Heynen, senior research director at Dell'Oro Group, in a blog about the deal when it was first announced. "Meanwhile, for Nokia, this puts an end to the pursuit of DOCSIS access business, though the company is likely to continue selling its own GPON and XGS-PON platforms into the cable vertical, as some operators have expressed an interest in these options, as opposed to deploying 10G EPON or DPoE (DOCSIS Provisioning over EPON)."

Heynen said last year was a difficult one for cable access equipment vendors, with total revenue dropping 36% from the year before due to a glut of DOCSIS channel capacity, the lack of significant competitive threats, and indecision around DAA technologies and timing all contributed to the spending slowdown in 2019.

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"2020 isn’t expected to fare much better, with operators focused in the short-term on expanding capacity via existing CCAP platforms and node splits," Heynen said. "Some new DAA projects have been shelved for the time being, though R-PHY deployments at Comcast, Cox, and others will continue.

"The uncertainty around when cable operators would return to their DAA projects, combined with general uncertainty around the macroeconomic environment, were likely the reasons behind Nokia’s divestment."