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 Custom TV
Razorsight Expert's Advice on Real-Time Analytics

11|27|14   |   1:43   |   (0) comments


Razorsight's powerful cloud-based Predictive Analytics solutions are used by the world's leading communications and media brands to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimize outcomes. Get expert advice.
LRTV Interviews
From 4G to 5G: Alcatel-Lucent's Dave Geary

11|25|14   |   09:09   |   (1) comment


Dave Geary, President of Wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, talks about the evolution of the 4G market, small cells, partnerships, 5G and the IoT.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Secure Telefonica Network With Huawei's High-End Firewall

11|24|14   |   4:37   |   (0) comments


Andrew Davies, IP architect of the Telefonica, a leading digital communications company, discusses the Huawei security gateway solution and putting the solution into the testbed.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partners with Spirent to Verify CE12816's 10GE Port & TRILL Networking Capabilities

11|24|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Spirent Communications is the world's leading supplier for telecom testing appliances and solutions. Spirent has been in a close partnership with Huawei for a long time.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Airlines & Its ICT Transformation

11|24|14   |   2:07   |   (0) comments


In this video, Saudi Airlines discusses its network problems and how Huawei's Agile Network is its all-in-one solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Switch Benefiting Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital

11|24|14   |   2:40   |   (0) comments


Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital speaks about how Huawei's Agile Switch has improved the medical service's network infrastructure.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FanPlay & Huawei Build a Wireless Agile Smart Stadium

11|24|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


FanPlay is a cloud-based white label service, which is effectively a football fan engagement platform underpinned by mobile payment technology.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building an Agile Stadium

11|24|14   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Stadiums may be thousands of tons of concrete and steel, but they now need to be agile. Being at the stadium may not be as alluring as it once was. Sports franchises and stadium operators discuss how to get fans back.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Helps ChinaCache Tackle Challenges in the Internet Industry

11|24|14   |   3:09   |   (0) comments


ChinaCache is China's largest content distribution network supplier. Huawei's CE12800 has provided ChinaCache with very strong support in its establishment of an infrastructure network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Cefinity on Managed Security Services & Next-Generation Firewall

11|24|14   |   7:05   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a cloud management service provider in Southeast Asia. Ivan Zhang, CEO of the company, discusses the implementation of security service management in the cloud era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Gateway in the Eyes of Cefinity

11|24|14   |   2:11   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a managed service provider for enterprise networks. The company currently uses Huawei's AR series routers for the most complete range of functions. CEO Ivan Zhang speaks about the advantages of the AR series routers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
CTO of Bus-Online Talks About Huawei's Agile Gateway

11|24|14   |   2:53   |   (0) comments


Bus-Online covers around 100 million users everyday. In addition to providing mobile TV, and advertising services to the public, Bus-Online has also entered the field of mobile Internet.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 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
Net Neutrality Even Mark Cuban Could Love
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/26/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
Why 5G Is a Different Beast
Robert Clark, 11/26/2014
Eurobites: Net Neutrality Battle Looms
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 11/27/2014
New Juniper CEO Can Be Thankful for $14.5M
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed