& cplSiteName &

Comcast, TWC Boost Business WiFi

Alan Breznick
6/3/2014
50%
50%

Months before they plan to consummate their proposed $45 billion marriage, Comcast and Time Warner Cable are already starting to think and act more like one, at least on the wireless front.

The two large US MSOs each unveiled plans to expand their WiFi offerings for business customers. While the specifics of the plans differ, both cable companies are seeking to boost the appeal of their commercial packages, woo more business prospects, and foster greater WiFi use by their commercial clientele.

In the bolder of the two initiatives, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) announced Tuesday that it's rolling out a dual-band WiFi gateway for commercial customers. Known as the Business Wireless Gateway, the wireless router enables the MSO's commercial subscribers to assign a private WiFi signal for their own use while making the other WiFi signal available publicly to their own customers.

The new business-oriented device thus apes the dual-band wireless gateways that Comcast is busily deploying under its home hotspot initiative, which the MSO is using to expand its hotspot coverage drastically around the nation. Comcast, which now has more than 1 million public hotspots throughout the US, is looking to boost that total to a whopping 8 million access points by year's end. (See Comcast's Home Hotspots Heat Up and Comcast Whips Up More WiFi.)

Comcast said it is offering the new dual-band gateways and Business WiFi service in most of its commercial Internet packages, along with around-the-clock customer technical support. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is supplying the new dual-band devices for Comcast.

Unlike Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) is not installing dual-band WiFi gateways in all of its commercial locations. But the MSO is now offering its advanced TWC WiFi Hotspot service for no extra charge to its SMB and enterprise subscribers throughout the US, enabling them to offer free wireless service to their customers.

TW Cable's WiFi Hotspot solution includes a free WiFi access point installed and managed by the MSO's business services unit. The access point also comes with its own Internet connection, which ensures that companies can keep their private web traffic separate and secure from the public Internet traffic, similar in function to the dual-band gateways that Comcast is now installing for its commercial customers. (See TWC & Charter Embrace Next-Gen WiFi.)

Also unlike Comcast, TW Cable does not have millions of WiFi hotspots spread across the nation. But like Comcast, TWC, which now has more than 35,000 hotspots in New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, and four other major markets, is rapidly building up its network of access points. In a separate deal announced Tuesday, for instance, TWC said it is teaming up with Boingo to offer WiFi roaming at both operators' locations.

These like-minded moves by TWC and Comcast come just a month after both firms conducted nationwide surveys showing that US businesses want their WiFi now. In the TW Cable survey, 80% of SMBs said they believe their customers expect free WiFi service, and they ranked it as a prime way to attract new customers. But only 43% of respondents actually offered free WiFi to their customers.

Likewise, the Comcast survey of "Main Street" entrepreneurs and small-business IT decision makers found that offering free WiFi does a better job of keeping their customers happy than offering such other goodies as free candy, water, or magazines. Most respondents also said that free WiFi offerings help bring in new customers, encourage repeat business, and lead to higher sales per customer visit.

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

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/4/2014 | 6:29:52 PM
Usage numbers for WiFi hotspots?
I'd be curious to know how many people use WiFi hotspots regularly and how frequently? Does anyone who uses a WiFi hotspot really often.. ever convert to a 4G LTE mobile data plan? (or vice versa?)

 
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/3/2014 | 6:52:30 PM
Comcast, TWC Boost Business WiFi
Alan, Impressive moves, and choreography, by the two companies.

In identifying the focus on infrastructure for business to WiFi, doesn't this represent a new direction for both of them?  It certainly makes sense and seems like a very smart move, especially expanding the markets together.
From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Atrinet's NetACE – Migration to NFV & SDN With NetOps-Driven LSO

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At Atrinet's headquarters, Ray Le Maistre sits down with Roy Silon to get an in-depth look into the company's focus and the secret recipe for their success.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Amsterdam ArenA, Powered by Huawei

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Huawei's ICT solutions power the state-of-the-art Amsterdam ArenA, turning it into a smart stadium.
    LRTV Interviews
    Testing When There's No 'There' There

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The benefits of SDN/NFV are well known, but the transition comes with some challenges, prominent among them is: how do you test a network that has been abstracted and has the potential to be endlessly reconfigurable? Light Reading was at NFV World Congress in Santa Clara, Calif., where we bumped into Mats Nordlund, CEO and co-founder of Netrounds, a Swedish ...
    LRTV Interviews
    Ditching the Slash & the Orchestration Wars

    5|3|16   |     |   (2) comments


    SDN and NFV have been inextricably bound with each other for so long that on a conceptual level, smooshing them together into one catch-all phrase – SDNFV – is now justifiable, according to Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). Light Reading spoke to Pitt at the NFV World Congress, where he explained that the next ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE TV Connect Highlights

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    ZTE gives us a tour of its booth and new products at TV Connect in London.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and visit the Deluxe booth at NAB! Here you'll find Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution, OTT video, virtual reality, HDR, 4K and much more!
    LRTV Interviews
    Verizon Puts Gray Boxes in the Shade

    5|2|16   |   04:33   |   (1) comment


    When it comes to the white box trend, "gray" boxes, which have a slight proprietary twist, don't give service providers and end users the advantages they're seeking, according to Verizon's Vice President of Product and New Business Innovation Shawn Hakl.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Dealing With a Disrupted Video Market

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Ericsson's Simon Frost discusses how traditional pay-TV providers can cope with the big changes wrought by the rise of OTT video and IP technology.
    LRTV Custom TV
    The VNF Responsibility of Red Hat

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At MWC, Caroline Chappell of Heavy Reading visits the Red Hat booth and sits down with Chris Wright to talk about the responsibility the VNF needs to take on in order to ensure the operators get the carrier-grade performance they expect for their network.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    Amazon AWS Reports $2.6B Quarterly Revenue, Up a Colossal 64%
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/28/2016
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    Sprint CEO: Our Spectrum Is for 5G
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/3/2016
    Amazon & Other 'Big 4' Cloud Providers Crushing Competitors
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/29/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Sloth Mail Click Here
    Sloth mail -- somehow even slower than snail mail.
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.