Cable modem termination system vendors eye Cisco

9 October 2002 -- Although Cisco is the leading first-gen, cable modem termination system (CMTS) vendor, the first-gen of CMTS platforms based on the DOCSIS standard do not address the need to offer advanced services such as VoIP.

9 October 2002 -- Although Cisco Systems is the dominant first-generation, cable modem termination system (CMTS) vendor in the market, the first-generation of CMTS platforms based on the DOCSIS standard did not address the need to offer advanced services such as VoIP. So says a new Yankee Group Report CMTS Vendors Setting Their Sights on Cisco.

Consequently, a number of vendors such as Arris, Motorola, and ADC have either developed or acquired next-generation platforms and are poised to challenge Cisco in the CMTS market. Cisco has answered with an advanced platform of its own, making the next two years a critical period for competitors to win business or remain bit players in the lucrative CMTS market.

According to Broadband Access Technologies analyst Lindsay Schroth, "Cable operators have recognized that it is essential to expand both their subscriber base and service offerings to maintain profitability, and the equipment in place today will not be able to handle a large expansion of subscribers or advanced offerings."

The next-gen vendors have engineered platforms that adhere to DOCSIS 1.1 and PacketCable VoIP standards. These platforms have the redundancy and reliability of a telco and can scale with service flows and residential and business subscribers.

Although the difficult economy is causing cable operators to move more slowly than anticipated with the rollout of these next generation platforms, upgrading to advanced platforms is an essential strategy for them. Cisco will maintain its position as their leading provider, but is expected to share more of its wealth with a new breed of competitor.

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