Week in research: Pay-TV grows in emerging countries; Packet-optical must prepare for 400G

Pay-TV revenues stay alive: While the number of subscribers to cable, satellite, and telco pay-TV services continues to plummet in North America, emerging countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China (aka the BRIC countries) are boosting global revenues, an Infonetics Research report says. In 2012, revenues reached $287 billion worldwide, a 10 percent increase over 2011, and the number of subscribers climbed 7 percent to 750 million. Still, the market continues to evolve due to various competitive and technological pressures, particularly in North America. "Incumbent MSOs including Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), and UPC are introducing new services, like home automation and multi-screen video to reduce subscriber churn and generate top-line revenue growth, in addition to deploying new technologies to lower the capex required to deliver broadcast video," said Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics. Another change will occur by 2017, the research firm says, when satellite will rake in 40 percent of all pay-TV revenue. Release

Infonetics pay tv revenue

Packet-optical needs a roadmap: 100G may be the latest frontier for packet-optical equipment providers, but more and more of these companies want their transport providers to have a clear roadmap to 400G networks—that can be implemented within one to two years. A report from Heavy Reading Components Insider says that the scalability of packet-optical networks is a big factor in their increasing adoption. "Vendors have developed highly integrated system on chip (SoC) solutions at 10 Gbit/s, 40 Gbit/s and now 100 Gbit/s, supporting a complex mix of interfaces, functionality and performance," said Simon Stanley, research analyst and the report's author. "Using these solutions, telecom equipment manufacturers can develop highly integrated reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers (ROADM), P-OTP and micro OTP (u-OTP) systems that address carriers' requirements." Release

From Russia, with fiber: Russian operators continue to roll out more fiber and LTE, to the extent that DSL will lose its position as the top broadband technology in the country this year, a Pyramid Research report says. MTS, for example, plans to migrate subscribers in Rostov, Astrakhan, Krasnodar, Kislovodsk and Stavropol to FTTB (fiber to the building) this year, after upgrading the network in those areas over the past several months. Russia is developing a national broadband plan, which will likely boost fiber uptake. The research firm predicts that fiber's share of the country's fixed broadband market will grow from 43 percent, or 10 million, in 2012 to 59 percent, or 20 million, by 2017. Release