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Cable’s Broadband Boom, By The Numbers

The following post is an excerpt from our larger whitepaper. To read the full analysis, download the whitepaper.

Global cable broadband subscribers are expected to increase from 172.05 million in 2016 to 214.26 million in 2021, despite having a limited presence in emerging markets, such as the Middle East and Africa. Broadband services account for a growing percentage of revenue for the world’s cable operators and are strategically important to operators in North America and Europe, where cable TV subscribers are expected to decline during that same time frame.

Global Cable Broadband Subscribers 2015-2021

Broadband, and IP, more specifically, is viewed as the entry point for a wide range of new, revenue-generating services, from managed WiFi, to home security and automation to the Internet of Things and, ultimately, to the primary distribution technology for all linear and multiscreen video. Hence, MSOs around the world are looking to expand their DOCSIS data networks and services to deliver more bandwidth to individual subscribers as well as to expand into new markets.

Cable Operators Increasing their Spending on DOCSIS Infrastructure

Cable operators fully expect to grow their share of broadband penetration over the next few years, due largely to their ability to quickly and inexpensively roll out DOCSIS 3.1 capabilities. DOCSIS 3.1 gives cable operators the ability to deliver gigabit services, on par with telcos’ and other ISPs’ fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) offerings.

In the US, specifically, broadband subscriber growth continues to accelerate. Major MSOs in the country are projected to continue investing heavily in their networks to support the delivery of DOCSIS 3.1 bandwidth and services, as well as to increase the penetration of fiber links to existing optical nodes.

Estimated and projected US cable capital spending on scalable infra 2009-2019Globally, cable operators are expected to allocate more CapEx toward moving DOCSIS capabilities closer to subscribers to reduce service group sizes and dramatically increase bandwidth. We forecast that spending on centralized and distributed converged cable access platforms will jump from $1.52 billion globally in 2015 to nearly $2.65 billion in 2020 as DOCSIS spending incorporates the traditional headend and hub sites along with outside plant in the form of optical nodes.

For further commentary on the growth factors behind the long-term transition from today's optical nodes to distributed access, download the whitepaper or request a call.


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