Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.
Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) has agreed to pay US$700 million to Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) and its AMC Networks unit to settle a legal spat over the defunct Voom HD service, but there's a big wireless broadband angle in there, too. About $80 million of that money will go toward Dish's purchase of Cablevision's 500MHz of Multichannel Video and Data Distribution (MVDDS) licenses covering 150 million people in 45 metro U.S. areas, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia. Cablevision is using a portion of its MVDDS licenses for OMGFAST!, a wireless broadband service that delivers up to 50 Mbit/s in Florida's Broward and Palm Beach counties. MVDDS relies on equipment installed on cell towers and is capable of delivering Internet or TV services. Dish, meanwhile, still has some serious wireless broadband ambitions of its own and already owns a chunk of MVDDS spectrum. (See Dish May Seek Spectrum Sale and Dish Chairman Ready to Back Up Wireless Bet .)
In September, a Cablevision spokeswoman likened OMGFAST! to a small test so the company could learn more about MVDDS technology, noting that the company had no plans to expand the service beyond its isolated deployment in Florida. In the meantime, OMGFAST!'s latest marketing promos have featured NFL Hall Of Fame quarterback Joe Namath and his daughter, Jessica:
Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) has launched a cloud-based software-as-a-service for small and medium-sized businesses that includes remote access to email, calendars, contact lists and documents accessible from PCs, smartphones and tablets. The MSO-managed SaaS offering supports apps such as Hosted Microsoft Exchange 2010, SharePoint 2010 and Outlook. TW Cable began to ramp up its cloud efforts after acquiring NaviSite in 2011 for $230 million. (See TW Cable Makes Cloud Progress With NaviSite.)
Last week's Cable-Tec Expo in Orlando drew 9,200 attendees, down from the more than 10,000 that the show attracted for the 2011 event in Atlanta. International attendance, meanwhile, was up 3 percent, with attendees representing a record 69 countries. Attendance for the pre-Expo, full-day symposium on "The Digital Home" jumped 47 percent on last year's numbers. Next year's Cable-Tec Expo is set for Sept. 18-20 in New Orleans. (See Cox CTO to Chair 2013 Cable-Tec Expo.)
There's no near-term changes underway for OMGFAST! and its customers following this deal. Dish is getting all of Cablevision's MVDDS licenses, but "OMGFast continues to have rights to the spectrum they are currently licensing," a Cablevision spokeswoman tells us. Cablevision has not disclosed how many customers it has for the wireless broadband service. JB
A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.