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Much has been said about the benefits of remote PHY in terms of reduced CAPEX and OPEX, enablement of fiber deep deployments, capacity increase in the access network, and the opportunity to rethink the headend architecture once the PHY layer is moved out. Despite its significant promise, remote PHY had a relatively slow start in 2017 and 2018. Yet, in 2019 we started to see meaningful adoption momentum. This trend will accelerate in 2020.
2019 was a transition year for the cable industry as market dynamics have started to shift. Traditional CCAP vendors, whose solutions are largely hardware-based, saw their revenue come under pressure. While some of the revenue softness was attributed to operators deploying equipment they already purchased, more is afoot. Some operators have taken a step back to ponder whether the traditional playbook they have used to meet capacity demand and to support current and future services is optimal, while others have wholeheartedly embraced the future by deploying software-based solutions. This has resulted in more momentum towards software-based solutions. Indeed, while legacy CCAP revenue declined in 2019, revenue from software-based solutions saw notable growth. This momentum will accelerate in 2020.