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Modems Make the World Go Round


A new Heavy Reading report shows that worldwide shipments of cable data and voice modems jumped 19.5% in the first half of 2007 compared to the first half of 2006. Talk about fueling the broadband economy. Total shipments hit a record of 16.4 million.

Motorola has long been the global leader in cable modem sales, and currently has 38% market share compared to the next leading competitor (Cisco’s Scientific Atlanta) with 20.5%. (More market share details in the report) In addition to high-performing technology, that level of market share comes from having the manufacturing capacity to produce more than 20,000 modems per day.

Of course the market is shifting constantly, and competition is far from scarce. One thing the numbers don’t tell is how modems are evolving. In addition to breaking down shipments by voice and data modems, it’s interesting to look at how the devices are changing the way broadband is delivered, and how all suppliers are having to innovate to keep up.

The latest modems on the market are designed to support DOCSIS 3.0 and specifically channel-bonding technology. While nothing has been certified for DOCSIS 3.0 by CableLabs yet, there have been plenty of field tests of pre-DOCSIS 3.0 devices. Motorola’s SB6100 modems were the first to be deployed in a commercial channel-bonding implementation and currently are used in both Singapore and Korea. In customer tests, the modems have yielded 138 Mbps with Euro-DOCSIS channel bonding. Next month, Motorola will submit the new SB6120 modem in CableLabs’ Certification Wave 56 for official DOCSIS 3.0 certification. Wonder what the new DOCSIS 3.0 modems will do to next year’s shipment numbers.

5 Responses

  1. Ahh, the irony, since all those modems aren’t really modems at all, but really layer 2 bridges.

  2. […] Broadband Reports wrote last week about new Motorola modems showing up in consumer self-install kits. Since the modem didn’t sound familiar to me, I thought I’d dig for some details. Here’s what I found out about the new hardware in Motorola’s modem portfolio: […]

  3. […] Part of the success of modems in the cable industry, and the reason consumers barely have to think about the technology, is due to CableLabs’ DOCSIS standards. Ten years ago CableLabs came out with the first Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications release to ensure that certified cable modems would work with any cable network available. DOCSIS is why you can buy a cable modem at retail if you want, and why cable operators have a range of technology options when choosing what modem equipment to lease to consumers. (It just so happens that, even with many options, most operators have chosen Motorola modems…) […]

  4. […] speeds to subscribers of 100Mbps. Both the cable modem termination systems (CMTSs) and the cable modems are Motorola stock, giving Motorola a significant presence in the Korean cable market. The […]

  5. […] by the end of 2008 Motorola had racked up 70% market share in DOCSIS 3.0 CPE. The last time I looked closely at market share numbers, DOCSIS 3.0 wasn’t even part of the equation. Apparently the numbers have been good to […]

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