Light Reading
Biggest US MSO now plans to roll out 8 million WiFi hotspots by the end of the year, after reaching the 1 million hotspot milestone less than a month ago.

Comcast Whips Up More WiFi

Alan Breznick
5/1/2014
50%
50%

LOS ANGELES -- The Cable Show -- Seeking to blanket the US with wireless coverage, Comcast aims to expand its WiFi footprint to a whopping 8 million hotspots by the end of the year, far more than any other wireless provider.

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) announced the enormous WiFi expansion plans at the Cable Show here Wednesday, saying that it will extend its Xfinity WiFi network to 8 million hotspots by adding locations in 19 of the country's 30 largest cities, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C.

Comcast is looking to blanket the US with WiFi coverage by deploying hotspots in 19 of the nation's largest metro areas.
Comcast is looking to blanket the US with WiFi coverage by deploying hotspots in 19 of the nation's largest metro areas.

The MSO said it will beef up its network rapidly by focusing on three different types of locations -- outdoor public areas, business facilities, and neighborhood hotspots in private homes. The vast majority of hotspots will be added in customer homes, where the cabler is now installing access points with a second, public SSID signal on the new WiFi-enabled data gateways that it's deploying throughout the nation.

Comcast officials, who just announced that they had activated their 1 millionth hotspot a few weeks ago, said they're carrying out the ambitious expansion drive to satisfy existing subscriber demand and future-proof their wireless network for rapidly growing needs. "Wireless access is increasingly important to our customers, and we are building a network that not only meets today's needs but also stays ahead of tomorrow's demands," claimed Marcien Jenckes, executive vice president of consumer services for Comcast Cable.

The MSO's soaring WiFi usage numbers tell much of the story. Comcast estimates that nearly 200 million out-of-home sessions have been initiated on the Xfinity WiFi network so far this year, a 700% increase from the same period last year. Due to increases like that, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) estimates 88% of all US data traffic on mobile and portable devices will travel over WiFi links by 2018.

Despite some signs that they and other large US MSOs may be looking to develop a "WiFi First" mobile voice service with their rapidly growing WiFi networks, Comcast executives insisted that they're not planning such a service now. Although WiFi can do a lot, they said, it is not a licensed technology and can never match a cellular network.

The top wireless service executives of other leading US MSOs echoed that sentiment at the show. Representing the national CableWifi Alliance consortium -- which consists of Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications Inc. , Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), and Bright House Networks -- they said they still view WiFi as a complementary service to cellular, not a competitive one. They also said they view their WiFi services as ways to differentiate their offerings from their telco rivals.

Unrelated to the Comcast news, the CableWiFi Alliance announced that it now covers 250,000 cable hotspots throughout the US, up from 200,000 last fall and 150,000 a year ago. At these hotspots, cable subscribers can either use their own MSO-branded SSID or the newer "CableWiFi" SSID to link to the network.

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

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
atif.sajid@gmail.com
50%
50%
atif.sajid@gmail.com,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/3/2014 | 11:57:46 PM
Re: Shifting to WiFi Makes Sense, But...
I wonder if if Comcast planning to use it's WiFi reach for offloading any mobile data?

 

Atif
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/1/2014 | 1:45:32 PM
Re: Shifting to WiFi Makes Sense, But...
Sprint says it has handoff in place for its service, but I haven't heard how well it works. I could see cable going this route, but I'm not sure if they need to at this point. Their WiFi is already a great value add.
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/1/2014 | 11:20:02 AM
Shifting to WiFi Makes Sense, But...
The shift of voice calls to WiFi makes sense in order to use other network resources for higher margin data uses. But the question will be how well the handoff goes to and from WiFi as one leaves or enters the range of a WiFi hotspot.
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
Eurobites: Net Neutrality Battle Looms
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 11/27/2014
Why 5G Is a Different Beast
Robert Clark, 11/26/2014
New Juniper CEO Can Be Thankful for $14.5M
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2014
Amazon Eyes Ad-Supported Video – NY Post
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 11/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed