Worldwide sales of broadband access equipment are expected to decline 1% this year compared with 2023, according to Dell’Oro Group.

The first half of 2024 will be characterized by continued weakness, with the second half seeing improvement that will continue into 2025, the researchers said. The growth will be driven by subsidization efforts, the continued shift from copper to fiber, and the deployment of cable distributed access architectures, they noted.

“Although the inventory corrections seen in 2023 will continue through the first half of 2024, the second half of the year is expected to be the turning point towards renewed growth,” Dell’Oro Vice President Jeff Heynen said in a press release.

“Service providers still have the same goals of increasing their fiber footprint, increasing the bandwidth they can offer their customers, and improving the reliability of their broadband services through the distribution of intelligence closer to subscribers,” added Heynen.

Dell’Oro predicted that passive optical network (PON) equipment revenue will grow from $10.8 billion last year to $11.8 billion in 2028. It will largely be driven XGS-PON deployments in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as early 50 Gbps deployments in China.

Other highlights from the research:

  • Revenue for cable distributed access equipment including virtual converged cable access platform (CCAP), converged cable access platform (CCAP), remote physical (PHY) devices, remote media access control-physical devices, and remote optical line transport (OLTs) is expected to reach $1.3 billion by 2028, as operators continue their DOCSIS 4.0 and early fiber deployments.
  • Revenue for fixed wireless CPE is expected to reach $2.5 billion by 2028, led by shipments of 5G sub-6GHz and increasing 5G millimeter wave units.
  • Revenue for Wi-Fi 7 residential routers and broadband CPE with WLAN will reach $9.3 billion by 2028, as the technology is rapidly adopted by consumers and service providers alike.

Dell’Oro’s latest broadband equipment forecast is more tempered than the one that the firm issued a year ago.

In late January 2023, Dell’Oro said PON equipment revenue would grow from $11 billion in 2022 to $13.2 billion by 2027 compared to the prediction of $11.8 billion in 2028 in this year’s study. Last year, Dell’Oro said cable distributed access equipment revenue would reach $1.5 billion by 2027 compared to this year’s prediction that it would reach $1.3 billion by 2028.

RVA LLC is bullish on its U.S. fiber estimates. In March 2022, the firm said that service providers in the U.S. would invest $125 billion during the subsequent five-year period on fiber. The firm said it would exceed the total amount invested since providers began to use fiber.

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