Cable operators plan to disrupt their aging networks this year by heavily investing in so-called "deep fiber" deployments and DOCSIS 3.1, both of which should enhance subscribers' video experiences, according to a recent report.
Beginning in 2017, operators will add optical nodes to their networks, lay fiber closer to subscribers and make service groups even smaller to best leverage DOCSIS 3.1's full potential, writes George Notter, equity analyst at Jefferies, in "Telecom & Networking Equipment 2017 Comms Infrastructure Outlook: The Year of Cable Access Network Spending."
At least several cable operators "are starting the deep fiber transformations" of their hybrid fiber coaxial networks, Notter says.
For its part, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) plans to add about 1 million more optical nodes to its existing base of between 250,000 and 300,000 optical nodes over the course of a four- to five-year plan, the Jefferies & Co. Inc. report states. And Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY)'s Project Lightning, unveiled more than 12 months ago, is designed to encompass more than 11 million homes over the initiative's lifetime.
Cable Companies Roll Out High-Speed Services
Comcast and other cable operators are investing heavily in deep fiber and DOCSIS 3.1, looking to improve customer experience as they compete head-on with service providers' implementations of PON and G.fast (Source: Mike Mozart/Flickr)
Comcast also is aggressively rolling out gigabit residential services based on DOCSIS 3.1, planning to support 15 US markets this year (with four already available).
"We think Comcast is a fairly reliable leading indicator of where the majority of the cable industry eventually will move to," notes Notter. "It would not be surprising to see the aggressive plans that Comcast has for upgrading their infrastructure to DOCSIS 3.1 and deploying next-generation set-top boxes further replicated at other operators."
DOCSIS 3.1 is set for a stellar year, agrees Alam Tamboli, senior analyst at Dell'Oro Group. In 2017, the infrastructure will become more ubiquitous through cable operators' networks and operators also will spend more on cable customer premises equipment (CPE) as they focus on speed in an effort to compete with communication service providers' deployment of PON and G.fast technologies, he said.
— Alison Diana, Editor, UBB2020
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