Vecima leans into fiber with 20K PON port deployment in US

Vecima may have gotten its start in the cable access realm but the vendor is now looking to prove it is just as focused on fiber. Efforts to win over new customers in the space appear to be going well, given the company just announced a Tier 1 U.S. operator chose Vecima’s Entra fiber access technology for the deployment of more than 20,000 10G PON ports.

The vendor did not name which operator it is working with on the deployment in a press release about the news. But hints in the document– including Vecima’s statement that its platforms have been deployed by eight of the 12 largest cable operators in North America – seem to point to a cable player.

COO Clay McCreery declined to name its partner in an interview with Fierce. However, he noted that Vecima’s win with a Tier 1 U.S. player is significant regardless of which it is.

“Any time a North American Tier 1 starts to go, they just go faster than really anybody else and they go bigger than almost anybody else,” he said. “There’s a significant barrier to entry with the North American Tier 1s in how long it takes to test, integrate, get into their ecosystem. So, we love the position we’re in.”

McCreery reiterated Vecima’s fiber portfolio is the fastest-growing part of its business. That’s in part because the costs for 10-gig products have come down far enough to make GPON and EPON upgrades feasible for more players, he explained. The COO added that node-based architectures and government spending are also catalysts for deployments and will help drive continued growth in this space for Vecima in 2023.

“Fiber deployments within our cable operator base has gotten very, very large, almost all of them now,” McCreery said. “Anything that’s RDOF-related is going to be fiber based because that’s the smarter way to do it.”

That comment is notable given some of the largest cable operators collectively won Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) support to connect more than 1.1 million locations with broadband service.

Charter Communications has the biggest commitment, covering more than 1 million locations. Consolidated Communications is set to reach over 27,000 locations, Mediacom more than 9,700 and Shenandoah Telecommunication (Shentel) more than 8,600.

Zooming out from the U.S. to a global view, Dell’Oro Group VP Jeff Heynen noted in a prepared statement fiber is the dominant choice for rural builds and line extensions, a trend the firm expects will help drive worldwide spending on PON deployments to $13.6 billion in 2026.