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Arris Group Leads Next-Generation DOCSIS 3.1 Modem Race

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Leading cable TV equipment developer Arris Group Inc.ARRS recently introduced two DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems, despite the fact that the next-generation DOCSIS 3.1 standard is yet to be fully certified by the industry consortium - CableLabs.

DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) is a communications protocol that allows cable MSOs (multi service operator) to provide high-speed broadband connections. This technology was specifically designed as the cable TV industry's answer to high-speed wireless and fiber-based wireline networks of telecom operators. The currently available DOCSIS 3.0 technology has helped cable TV operators compete in terms of the fastest Internet speeds available in the market.

The upcoming DOCSIS 3.1 standard is a better formulation of the existing one. While DOCSIS 3.0 theoretically supports 152 Mbps download and 108 Mbps upload speeds, DOCSIS 3.1 theoretically offers 10 Gbps downstream and up to 1 Gbps upstream network capabilities. Additionally, DOCSIS 3.1 significantly increases network capacity and enhances a cable modem's energy.

Arris has introduced two DOCSIS 3.1 modems. The first is Touchstone CM8200, to be used by those cable TV operators who employ Arris' legacy products. The second is SURFboard SB8200, designed for Motorola Surfboard brand users. Notably, in 2013, Arris acquired Motorola Home set-top box business from Alphabet Inc. GOOGL . Arris claims these two modems will initially support 5 Gbps downstream and 2 Gbps upstream speed.

At the moment, DOCSIS 3.0 is facilitating cable MSOs to explore new markets. The persistent slump in the video market is being compensated by broadband services in the cable telephony and high-speed Internet markets. Escalating demand for video-on-demand has made DOCSIS 3.0 essential for cable MSOs. In addition, demand for online gaming and downloading of various multimedia applications has also increased manifold.

Importantly, leading cable MSOs like Comcast Corp. CMCSA , Liberty Global Plc. LBTYA and Videotron Ltd. are keen on deploying DOCSIS 3.1 network, starting 2016. Full scale deployment is likely to take place in 2017 when Cox Communications is also expected enter the field.

Meanwhile, the DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem market is expected to become increasingly competitive in the near future with companies like Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO , Technicolor and Pace Plc. set to enter the market. Several other cable TV equipment manufacturers are also in the fray. In such a competitive scenario, Arris will likely be in a position to derive the maximum benefit as the forerunner of this technology.

Arris currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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