May 29, 2012
Surveys Say: Access Gear Sales Down, VoLTE Makes Progress
First-quarter revenue for access equipment (Cable + DSL + PON), including infrastructure equipment and CPE, declined 8 percent sequentially after surging to a record level in 4Q11, says Dell’Oro Group.
All technology segments showed sequential declines for both revenue and shipments with the exception of cable CPE, which had strong growth both sequentially and over the year-ago period.
“Typical seasonal weakness was exacerbated by several factors including lower PON shipments to China after strong year-end budget spending, the economic uncertainly in Europe and a slow start by North American service providers,” comments Steve Nozik, principal analyst/Access Research. “Cable CPE was the exception with growth driven by users upgrading to high bandwidth DOCSIS 3.0 service for which new devices are required.” Nozik added.
In the first quarter, Cisco (with “near record” shipments) was the lead vendor in terms of cable CPE unit shipments. Arris was next, with its strongest shipment quarter in more than a year, followed by Netgear, which saw its cable CPE shipments reach a “record” level.
In its recent research regarding Voice Over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE), those projects “have begun to positively impact the carrier telephony market,” Dell’Oro adds.
According to the group, three major technical components were needed to launch commercial VoLTE services:
>> IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) Call Session Control Function (CSCF) – Overall licenses more than quadruple versus the year-ago quarter, driven by VoLTE.
>> VoLTE-capable Wireless Voice Application Servers (VAS) – 1Q12 was the first quarter of revenues, in tens of millions.
>> Handsets with Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) capabilities – Shipments are expected in 2H12.
“The two main infrastructure components needed to build VoLTE services have been delivered by several vendors over the past few quarters, benefiting Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks and Mavenir Systems,” says analyst Chris DePuy “We expect multiple operators will launch VoLTE services by the end of 2012, after they have tested their networks when affordable handsets are available.”
He continues, “Just as important, there are signs that operators will be launching revenue-generating services such as video conferencing, location services, messaging and file sharing in the coming year. These new communication services will represent the first major wireless operator responses to the threats posed by ‘over-the-top’ services that have been enabled by smartphones.”