Cable operators continue to focus on ramping up downstream bandwidth to stay ahead of growing fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) deployments by telcos and other Internet service providers (ISPs), including Google Fiber (NASDAQ:GOOG) and municipal fiber networks.
Despite the significant increase in channels, revenue dropped 3% from 2014 to 2015, to $1.74 billion, as competitive pricing coupled with a rise in software licenses helped push down the average price per downstream channel.
ARRIS (NASDAQ:ARRS) closed out the year as the global revenue leader, holding 53% of total revenue among providers of cable broadband infrastructure. ARRIS benefitted from the focus of its primary North American customers, including Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), on increasing throughput to remain competitive with Verizon (NYSE:VZ), AT&T (NYSE:T), CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL), Google Fiber and upstart ISPs.
"The imminent availability of DOCSIS 3.1 linecards and full-spectrum channels won't slow the continued purchase and deployment of current DOCSIS 3.0 channels as cable operators must continue to increase throughput to reduce the likelihood of churn among their broadband subscribers," said Jeff Heynen, senior research analyst for SNL Kagan.