Cable operators to increase fiber cable, optical node use: IHS

Cable operators will continue to drive fiber deeper in to their networks, which means good news for suppliers of fiber cable and optical nodes, according to IHS (NYSE: IHS). For example, the market research firm expects global shipments of hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) optical nodes will more than double in the 5 years from 2014 to 2019.

Cable operators will continue to drive fiber deeper in to their networks, which means good news for suppliers of fiber cable and optical nodes, according to IHS (NYSE: IHS). For example, the market research firm expects global shipments of hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) optical nodes will more than double in the 5 years from 2014 to 2019.

The "F" in "HFC" will grow in proportion as operators look to increase bandwidth capacity while reducing signal noise and interference, IHS says. Thus, company analysts expect optical node shipments to increase from 92,000 in 2014 to 200,000 in 2019. Revenues from optical node sales have already gained momentum; optical node revenue grew 14% year-on-year in 2014 to reach $356 million. Arris led optical node global revenue and physical node unit shipments during 2014, IHS notes.

"Optical nodes have rapidly become important platforms for cable operators to grow their broadband capabilities. By way of increased node splitting today for increased bandwidth and a transition to distributed access in the coming years, optical nodes will see significant unit growth and innovation," explained Jeff Heynen, research director for broadband access and pay TV at IHS.

The increase in use of optical nodes comes as part of a general evolution in HFC networks. IHS expects 35% of new physical nodes will be remote CCAP devices, 27% R-PHY units, and 23% traditional digital return nodes by 2019. In 2014, 80% of worldwide optical node revenue came from digital return nodes, and 15% came from analog return nodes.

The 23-page "IHS Infonetics HFC Optical Nodes" market share and forecast report covers worldwide and regional market size, vendor market share, and forecasts through 2019; it also provides analysis of HFC optical nodes. The annual market research service tracks physical node units, logical node segments, and revenue for optical node types including analog and digital return, and remote PHY, converged cable access platform (CCAP), and cable modem termination system (CMTS).

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