2016 will be a banner year for broadband access vendors

Julie Kunstler/Ovum Source
Broadband Insights

OvumThe wireline broadband access component and equipment market will continue to be strong in 2016 with the adoption of higher-bandwidth technologies. We will see initial deployments of NFV in the access network, particularly on the customer premises side. There are market opportunities for both established vendors and for start-ups as the access market adopts higher bandwidths, NFV, and QoE. However, vendors will continue to struggle to reach decent gross and profit margins in this market.

While the debate between copper-based versus fiber-based broadband technologies still simmers, the reality is that both are being deployed by CSPs to achieve higher-speed wireline access networks.     

On the copper side, VDSL port shipments will continue to outpace ADSL volumes in North America, EMEA, and SCA (see Figure 1).

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Broadband Insights April 2016
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Figure 1: Global DSL shipments by region and type, rolling 4Q, 2015This trend will continue throughout 2016. In addition, shipments of vector-enabled equipment now represent more than 50% of total VDSL shipments in EMEA.    

G.fast, PON and DOCSIS

G.fast will move from trials to initial deployments in 2016. Some operators will use G.fast as a stepping-stone to FTTP deployments, while others see G.fast as offering sufficient bandwidth for the near future. Improvements to both G.fast (G.fast with bonding, G.faster) and VDSL vectoring (super vectoring, Vplus) will become standardized over the next several years as many CSPs “sweat” their copper-based assets to achieve faster speeds.    

PON shipments reached record levels in 2015, and while 2016 shipments may not break new records, shipments will remain strong (see Figure 2).    

Figure 2: Global FTTx PON ONT/ONU shipments by quarter, 3Q13-15

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