SNL Kagan: 61% of cable operators plan to virtualize network access by end of 2018​​​​​​​

A dark room full of computer servers
54% of MSOs expect to deliver bandwidth ranging in speed between 101 Mbps to 500 Mbps by the end of 2018, and 25% said they’ll deliver speeds from 501 Mbps to 1 Gbps. 

Surveying 35 cable operators from around the world, SNL Kagan found that a majority of them, 61%, plan to virtualize their Converged Cable Access Platform or disturb used Access Infrastructure by the end of 2018.

Also by the end of 2018, the research company found that 54% of MSOs expect to deliver bandwidth ranging in speed between 101 Mbps to 500 Mbps, and 25% said they’ll deliver speeds from 501 Mbps to 1 Gbps. 

SNL Kagan said that 66% of MSOs expect to have 1.2 GHz or more spectral capacity in their cable plant by the end of next year. 

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“Cable operators, by and large, will rely on their existing HFC plant and DOCSIS to increase the bandwidth and broadband services they offer their subscribers over the next few years, said Jeff Heynen, senior research analyst at Kagan, in a statement. “With DOCSIS 3.1, distributed access, and full duplex, MSOs have a number of technology options to remain broadband leaders without having to move to full FTTH.”

The data comes from a new SNL Kagan report, “Building Cable’s Broadband Future,” which looks at cable’s competitive response to fiber-based competition. 

“In order to continue enhancing their ability to deliver improved speeds and additional broadband services, cable operators are investing heavily in their access networks to accommodate expected traffic growth and to ensure their advertised speeds and service surpass those of their competitors,” the report said. “Upgrades to CCAP and optical node platforms to distribute CCAP functions and to reduce service group sizes and support DOCSIS 3.1 capabilities, coupled with expanded ber capacity are all part of the early initiatives to keep pace."

SNL Kagan said that revenue for vendors from supplying virtual CCAP hardware and software is expected to grow to just less than $671 million worldwide by 2021 from $13.8 million in 2017.

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