& cplSiteName &

TWC & Charter Embrace Next-Gen WiFi

Alan Breznick
4/18/2014
50%
50%

Although they may not exactly be bosom buddies these days, Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications are both looking to take their budding WiFi services to a new level. In back-to-back announcements this week, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and Charter Communications Inc. revealed they have launched or plan to launch higher-level WiFi services to their broadband customers. Both major US MSOs said they aim to deliver a faster, better WiFi experience to their subscribers as they boost broadband speeds in the home and extend coverage to more hotspots outside.

TW Cable went first, announcing that it is bringing HotSpot 2.0 technology to most of its 33,000 WiFi access points scattered across the nation as part of its launch of the WiFi Alliance's Passpoint program. This more advanced technology will enable TWC to offer enhanced connections to its WiFi users, matching the level and capability of cellular links. It will also allow the second largest US MSO to offer seamless roaming onto other participating WiFi networks.

The new Time Warner Cable WiFi service, known as TWCWiFi-Passpoint, relies on Paspoint's enterprise-grade WPA2 security technology for laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. A large number of mobile devices now come outfitted with this protection, including the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy 4, and HTC One phones, to name a few.

With the launch, TWC claims that it now has "the largest Passpoint-enabled network in the country to date." The MSO, which has been aggressively expanding the number of hotspot locations over the past year, offers hotspots in southern California; New York; Austin, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; Kansas City, Mo.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Hawaii.

Charter then followed up TWC's Passpoint announcement a day later with its own, unrelated WiFi news. The fourth largest US MSO said it will introduce a new, more powerful home WiFi router next month to offer enhanced service to its broadband subscribers.

Specifically, Charter, the first major US MSO to have more broadband subscribers than video subscribers, said it will roll out a "fully managed" dual-band 802.11ac wireless router, starting May 16. The new router, produced by Netgear Inc. (Nasdaq: NTGR), will be based on the latest version of WiFi, often called "Gigabit WiFi."

Just approved by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) in January, the 802.11ac spec is designed to support the fastest WiFi speeds possible. Charter said its new router, equipped with that technology, will be able to deliver well over the maximum 100Mbit/s speeds that its highest broadband tier, Internet Ultra, now offers throughout the home.

Charter claims that it's the first broadband provider to introduce such a high-performance router using the new 802.11ac standard. Unlike most other large US MSOs, Charter is offering dedicated home networking routers to its customers, instead of more general-purpose wireless gateways that combine cable modems and routers in one device. (See Charter Goes Own Way on Wi-Fi.)

The twin moves by Time Warner Cable and Charter come as they and other cable operators, large tech players, and consumer electronics makers push for greater WiFi support in Washington. Through a new coalition called WifiForward the companies are lobbying the federal government for more wireless spectrum, stronger WiFi spectrum designations, and streamlined regulations. (See Rival MSOs, Tech Rivals Unite on WiFi.)

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

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/21/2014 | 6:21:54 PM
Re: next gen
DOShea - "And the cable operators continue to be aggressive--and progressive-- in market segments that telcos could have owned by now if they had the inclination."

Telcos don't seem to be able to expand into adjacent markets. Consider social networking -- telcos should have owned that market well before Facebook. They already knew who everybody called and texted and how often. They have a better knowledge of our so-called "social graph" than we do. 
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/21/2014 | 10:59:09 AM
Re: next gen
Agreed. Funny to remember back on how Verizon had some Wi-Fi ambitions in NYC early on, swapping out pay phones and instead putting hotspots there instead, thenm offering free Wi-Fi to DSL users. Ultimately they gave up on that for some reason when they could have dominated the cityscape with their own Wi-Fi (and ads).
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/21/2014 | 10:54:38 AM
Re: next gen
But, will the cost to consumers benefit? It's great to get higher speeds and more convenience because of the new tech of the routers/modems but can the providers get the prices down to levels that other countries can? We still seem to be paying dearly for internet services at speeds much lower than the rest of the world. Maybe the next-gen Wifil will provide lower pricing?
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
4/19/2014 | 9:22:53 PM
Re: next gen
And the cable operators continue to be aggressive--and progressive-- in market segments that telcos could have owned by now if they had the inclination.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/19/2014 | 3:45:52 PM
Re: next gen
This is exciting stuff. I only realized the significance of Passpoint recently. 

It means WiFi becomes invisible to consumers. A consumer turns on her phone and she's connected. Sometimes she'll connect over LTE, 3G, or whatever cellular service is available. Other times it'll be WiFi. The consumer won't know or care. 

Carriers will be able to extend their networks at lower cost. So while the consumer won't notice what kind of network she's connected to, she might well notice that she's getting signal in more places than before, and connectivity is better. 

(Oh, who am I kidding? She won't notice that either. Louis CK was right.)
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/18/2014 | 5:47:08 PM
next gen
It's quite a mouthful to pronounce the name "TWCWiFi-Passpoint," but other than that, it sounds fairly promising.
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, August 3, 1:00PM EDT
The Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center
Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, Open Networking Research Center, Open Networking Lab
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, August 10, 1:00PM EDT
Telcos & Open Source 101
Phil Robb, Senior Technical Director, OpenDaylight
Friday, August 12, 1:00PM EDT
The Role of Open Source in NFV
Jim Fagan, Director, Cloud Practice, Telstra
Wednesday, August 17, 1:00PM EDT
Using Open Source for Data Centers and Cloud Services
Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (1) comment


As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments


Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments


VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (0) comments


In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 2 – Climbing the Virtualization Maturity Curve

7|19|16   |   06:56   |   (0) comments


Many of the initial use case implementations are single-vendor and self-contained. The industry is still climbing the virtualization maturity curve, needing further clarity and stability in the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and greater availability and choice of virtualized network functions (VNFs). Interoperability between NFVis and VNFs from different vendors ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks' Kumar Mehta on SD-WAN Managed Services

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Versa's Kumar Mehta for an interview focused on why service providers are building SD-WAN managed services, and how Versa's telco customers are innovating.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper Networks & The Evolution of NFV

7|19|16   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Senior Juniper Networks executives talk to Light Reading Founder & CEO Steve Saunders about NFV developments and the recent independent evaluation by test lab EANTC of Juniper's Cloud CPE solution.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink Goes Beyond Managed WiFi

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


CenturyLink's managed WiFi allows enterprises, such as retailers and resorts, to track guest WiFi usage in order to help them better communicate with customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Five of the Top 10 most targeted countries in Check Point Software Technologies' global Malware & Threat Index for Q1 2016 are in Africa.
Hot Topics
Verizon Sports Big Plans for Yahoo
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 7/26/2016
Light Reading Beyond
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 7/28/2016
Are IP/Optical Integration Initiatives Moving to Silos?
Faisal Khan, Network Operator Technology Planning Dept., 7/28/2016
Yahoo Signing Off in $4.83B Sale to Verizon
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 7/25/2016
Ericsson Board Has Been Asleep at the Wheel – Consultant
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
I've enjoyed interviewing many interesting people since I rejoined Light Reading, but William A. "Bill" Owens certainly takes the biscuit, as we say where I come from.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.