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5 January 2017

CATV/broadband market boosted by DOCSIS 3.1 deployments, but RF revenue to remain flat

DOCSIS 3.1 (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) networks will provide obvious benefits for operators and consumers, but the advantages for the RF portion of the network are not as clear, notes the Strategy Analytics Advanced Semiconductor Applications (ASA) service report 'CATV/Broadband Infrastructure Amplifier Forecast and Outlook: 2015 – 2021'.

DOCSIS 3.1 networks will usher in a new era for CATV/broadband service providers, says the market research firm. This specification allows cable operators to provide services and data speeds competitive with current fiber offerings, while providing a clear path for network evolution.

The report concludes that RF revenue peaked in 2016 in response to DOCSIS 3.1 network deployments, but then decline over the rest of the forecast period as fiber pushes deeper into the networks. It also extrapolates that gallium nitride (GaN) technology will be the only RF technology to see revenue growth in this market application.

"DOCSIS 3.1 is a significant accomplishment for the CATV/broadband industry," says Eric Higham, service director, Advanced Semiconductor Applications service. "It provides an evolution path for the networks that allows operators to add capacity and services as consumer needs dictate, while remaining competitive with fiber alternatives. The challenge for the RF industry will be to expand device opportunities as fiber moves deeper into the HFC (hybrid fiber coax) networks in response to the increasing data traffic enabled by DOCSIS 3.1 networks," he adds.

"The performance advantages of GaN make it the preferred technology for the power amplifiers in the CATV/broadband infrastructure network," says Asif Anwar, service director, Advanced Defense Systems service. "This will enable a small revenue increase over the forecast period."

Tags: CATV

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