Cable modem market set to shift

Five vendors controlled the cable modem market in the third quarter of this year, with their shipments accounting for 75 percent of all shipments worldwide, according to a new study by Gartner Group's Dataquest.

Motorola led the pack in the third quarter, shipping almost three times as many cable modems as its nearest competitor to control 37.2 percent of shipments for the quarter, according to a statement from Dataquest.

But most of Motorola's cable modems were based on proprietary technology, and this year is probably the last year that shipments of proprietary cable modems will outstrip shipments of standards-based cable modems, Dataquest said.

If this year's shipments trends continue, cable modems based on the DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) standard will account for approximately 40 percent of total shipments for 1999, and vendors other than Motorola lead the way in that market, according to Dataquest. For the third quarter, General Instrument was the leading vendor, with 21 percent of DOCSIS units shipped, Dataquest said. 3Com was second, commanding 19 percent market share, followed by Thomsom Consumer Electronics with 18 percent market share, Dataquest said.

Worldwide, total cable modem shipments for the third quarter reached 833,000 units for the third quarter, according to Dataquest. At this rate, total cable modem shipments will probably reach 3 million units for 1999, which will translate into revenue of around $US700 million, Dataquest said.

Worldwide Cable Modem Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates, Third Quarter 1999 (Thousands of Units) Company Q3/99 Shipments Q3/99 Market Share (%) Motorola 310 37.2 Arris Interactive/Nortel 105 12.6 Com21 80 9.6 Terayon 69 8.2 General Instrument 59 7.1 Others 210 25.3 Total Market 833 100.0 Source: Dataquest (December 1999)

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