A new Kalman carrier synchronization algorithm is developed for high-order QAM transmission to reduce complexity compared to the conventional Kalman approach. The state model in the proposed algorithm employs only phase, instead of both phase and frequency, as in the conventional method. A reduced-observation model is also introduced to eliminate matrix operations in the Kalman recursions. Simulations results show that the one-state Kalman algorithm has better performance and lower complexity than the two-state Kalman algorithm. The cable modem downstream system is applied to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.