Light Reading
The big US MSO views its rapidly growing WiFi network as a way to "disrupt" the wireless data market with potential products.

Cablevision Plots WiFi Market Disruption

Alan Breznick
5/8/2014
50%
50%

Cablevision Systems is looking to use its swiftly expanding WiFi network in the New York metropolitan area to launch products that would "disrupt" the wireless data market.

During the company's first-quarter earnings call Thursday morning, Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) CEO James Dolan expanded on his hints in earlier earnings calls that Cablevision is cooking up something big on the wireless front. Though he still didn't disclose any specific plans, Dolan indicated that the nation's fifth-largest MSO is working on WiFi products that "will be disruptive to the current market players," particularly in the wireless data market.

"We've been saying for quite some time that WiFi is a differentiator for our business," Dolan said. Now, with Cablevision's Optimum WiFi network boasting more than 100,000 access points and rapidly growing, "I think you're going to see new products, some of which will be disruptive."

Key to Cablevision's plans is the deployment of more powerful WiFi-outfitted "smart routers" in broadband customers' homes. Taking a leaf out of Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s book, Cablevision is furiously installing these data gateways throughout the New York region, because the gateways turn each home into a public hotspot that other broadband users can leverage.

With the deployment of these gateways, Cablevision aims to expand its universe of WiFi access points to 1 million by the end of the year. Employing a similar strategy, the much larger Comcast aims to increase its WiFi network reach from 1 million access points to 8 million by the end of the year. (See Comcast Whips Up More WiFi.)

Dolan said Cablevision has already seen the "total data passed" on its Optimum WiFi network more than double over the past year. Newly named COO Kristin Dolan (the CEO's wife) said more than 1 million "unique Optimum households" used WiFi in the first quarter, up 30% from a year earlier.

Stressing that WiFi is "an unlimited data product" for the MSO, James Dolan also said Cablevision "will continue to push that trend" and will be "aggressive in finding and rolling out new products that ride on the network." He asserted that "there's a lot more traffic that could move to the WiFi network."

The cable company is increasingly emphasizing its WiFi network for growth as, like most other big US MSOs, it continues to gain more broadband subscribers while shedding video subscribers. In the first quarter, for instance, Cablevision added 8,000 high-speed data customers while losing 14,000 video customers.

As a result, Cablevision, with 2.788 million broadband and 2.799 video subscribers, stands poised to become the third major US MSO to have more broadband subs than video subs. In a historic marker for the cable industry, both Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and Charter Communications Inc. have already made that shift, indicating that broadband really is cable's future.

In other earnings highlights, Cablevision reported that it gained nearly 8,000 voice subscribers in the first quarter, boosting its total count to almost 2.3 million. However, due to its continued video losses, the overall customer count slipped by 2,000 to just below 3.2 million.

Cablevision's consolidated net revenue climbed 4.3% from a year earlier to $1.58 billion. Consolidated adjusted operating cash flow jumped 24.8% to $434.3 million, and consolidated operating income soared 92.6% to $207.1 million as revenue rose and customer-related costs fell.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(15)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/14/2014 | 9:54:41 PM
Re: Cablevision Plots WiFi Market Disruption
@kq4ym, yes, I believe it will depend on their ability to execute and build that capability - sounds like a good bet.

I agree with danielcawrey, that the data capability is key.
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/14/2014 | 12:35:22 PM
Re: Cablevision Plots WiFi Market Disruption
If they can indeed expand from 1 million to 8 million hotspots in a short time, that may very well bode well for Cablevision. Whether the investment in infrastructure and new equipment will bring in enough income remains to be seen, but it seems like a gamble worth taking for some possible quick growth.
danielcawrey
100%
0%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/10/2014 | 2:30:50 PM
Re: Ubiquitous wifi has been touted as disruptive before, but....
People need data more than they need cable-fed content at this point. Data has rendered content through traditional pipe relatively worthless. I think that wifi offers a great value play, however it requires significant investment because coverage is key. 

I know that there are times when I am automatically connected to wifi hotspots from carriers like Verizon when I am out and about. But the fact of the matter is that I would much rather use my phone's tethering - it's just a more consistent connection when I am on the go. 
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/9/2014 | 6:00:53 PM
Cablevision Plots WiFi Market Disruption
@mhhf1ve, I am with you - I think you have very good points!  I truly believe those iterations are not breakthrough disruptions.  If, however, they have developed a new core network capability that creates new capabilities in their platform, that could be disruptive.  But the proof will be in their deliverables and we will know if it is disruptive or not.
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/9/2014 | 5:53:33 PM
Re: Cablevision Plots WiFi Market Disruption
DHagar, Maybe disruption is just too overused to try to create buzz. A vast wireless network built from WiFi devices has some potential to do things that might not otherwise be available... but it's unclear how valuable those things are compared to existing wireless services. Maybe I'm just not creative enough to see the full potential. But I have seen plenty of municipal wifi networks come and go... and I haven't seen any vast decrease in wifi hardware prices or a quantum increase in wifi performance? 
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/9/2014 | 4:06:09 PM
Cablevision Plots WiFi Market Disruption
@mhhf1ve, I like your healthy questioning of the disruptive claim.  I am seeing that the potential disruption may come from their network, enabling them to compete with new capabilities, services, etc., more than from the user end.  What do you think?

Obviously, time will be the ultimate proof - and we know where we heard the possibility of smokescreens first!

 
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/9/2014 | 1:00:03 PM
Re: Ubiquitous wifi has been touted as disruptive before, but....
 

I have a home Cisco Router (okay Linksys) that has WiFi and a built in guest network.  So not much new there.

I have T-Mobile on a G3 and WiFi calling.  The advantage of VoWiFi is inbuilding coverage compared to Cellular in a lot of places.

I dropped having Cellular on my Tablet and I use my phone as a hotspot if I am ever out of WiFi while working on my tablet.

I am on Comcast and see their hotspots sometimes but don't really get great connectivity out of them.

I just think WiFi is what I use when I sit down...like at a coffee shop.  4G is what I use when I am on the move or on that rare occasion where WiFi is not available where I am sitting.  If WiFi were more available, i would use it more but I am not sure it would cause me to change carriers.

seven

 
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/9/2014 | 12:47:42 PM
Re: Ubiquitous wifi has been touted as disruptive before, but....
Wireless voice over wifi might save users some prime time minutes, but that doesn't sound all that disruptive. Wireless carriers have tried to get people to offload their mobile usage onto their home internet service for a while, but the thing is that benefits the wireless carrier more than it benefits the end user.
CraigPlunkett
50%
50%
CraigPlunkett,
User Rank: Moderator
5/9/2014 | 12:40:44 PM
Re: Ubiquitous wifi has been touted as disruptive before, but....
The addition of home routers that can broadcast multiple SSIDs is still more of a retention play than anything else.  The home router inside your house cannot reliably serve clients on the street, even in urban areas. this is because the radios in the clients on the street cannot reach back inside the house to get to the router.

However, if you do have an apartment building packed with customers, each having an independent Wi-Fi router and the channels are not coordinated, you may have those interference problems, leading to a customer support nightmare.

This is more about making it easy to put guests on your home network and have seamless connecitivity for them.
KBode
100%
0%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/9/2014 | 12:02:44 PM
Re: Ubiquitous wifi has been touted as disruptive before, but....
I'd agree that this sounds incredibly ambiguous and it feels like there should be something else at play here. Is there going to be some kind of wireless voice service figured into the mix?
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration

11|21|14   |   04:29   |   (7) comments


At the Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium, Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how SDN has reshaped the discussion around packet and optical integration.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Highlights at BBWF 2014

11|20|14   |   3:40   |   (1) comment


Broadband World Forum is one of the world's largest telecoms, media and technology events with over 7,800 senior executives from across the globe converging on Amsterdam every year to identify the Next Big Thing. BBWF is an exciting place to meet the entire industry under one roof and identify the latest in network innovation, service optimization and customer ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Will BCMS Stimulate Margin for Broadband Operators?

11|19|14   |   6:52   |   (0) comments


In BBWF 2014, Liu Shuqing emphasizes the value of FMC 2.0 based full service experience by throwing light on the BCMS solution. The underlying principle of this innovative technique is to create network robustness and driving network from connection oriented to ACE – BAND oriented infrastructure, in which applications, cloud, and user experiences will be an asset ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
SingleFAN3.0: Better Connected Experience

11|19|14   |   3:06   |   (1) comment


At the BBWF 2014, David Hu, the VP of Huawei Access Network Product Line, talked about the future of access networks – SingleFAN3.0: faster broadband, wider coverage, and smarter connection.
LRTV Interviews
Basil Alwan Interview: The Road to Cloud

11|19|14   |   09:09   |   (0) comments


Alcatel-Lucent's head of IP and Transport talks about the migration towards a web-like networking environment, the impact of the cloud, SDN and NFV, and the yet-to-be-announced FP4 chip.
LRTV Documentaries
FairPoint Makes a Fair Point About Analytics

11|19|14   |   1:56   |   (1) comment


The US-based communication service provider gets to grips with advanced analytics, tackling data and breaking down the silos within its own business.
LRTV Documentaries
Analytics Lets C Spire Get to Know Subs

11|19|14   |   3:01   |   (2) comments


It's all about the data for US operator C Spire as it uses analytics to personalize its customer service down to individual subscribers.
LRTV Interviews
Nuage Branches Out With SDN: CEO Interview

11|17|14   |   9:32   |   (0) comments


Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's SDN-focused unit Nuage Networks, talks about the opportunities and challenges of breaking out of the data center into wide-area networks.
Light Reedy
Telecom Analytics Grows Up

11|14|14   |   1:15   |   (4) comments


The big data analytics debate has moved on from a year ago, with some experts suggesting it's no longer a technology challenge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Compass

11|14|14   |   3:17   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Shuo Yang, Huawei Principal Cloud Infrastructure Architect introduced Huawei Compass, the software tool for solving customers' problems on the journey of OpenStack Cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Cloud Strategy in European Region

11|14|14   |   2:56   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dr. Gotz, CTO of Huawei IT in European Region introduced Huawei's cloud strategy in European region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Contribution on OpenStack

11|14|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dennis Gu, Huawei Chief Architect of Cloud Computing introduced the relationship between OpenStack and cloud computing, and Huawei's contribution on OpenStack.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 12, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
$38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
Google, AT&T, BT Unite on Network Data Models
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 11/20/2014
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/21/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed