& cplSiteName &

Cable's MVNO Option May Speed Wi-Fi Rollouts

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
8/17/2012
50%
50%

A condition that lets Verizon Wireless 's cable friends pursue an MVNO option almost right away could quicken the pace of MSO Wi-Fi deployments and put MSOs into position to nail down a hybrid class of mobile voice services, a top industry analyst says.

In approving the sale of AWS spectrum of four cable operators (Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications Inc. and Bright House Networks ) to Verizon Wireless, the U.S. Department of Justice included a condition that allows the MSOs to offer Verizon Wireless services under their own brands almost right away. The DoJ also inserted a condition that enables the MSOs to partner with other wireless partners starting in five years.

The original contract didn't let the cable operators invoke the MVNO option for four years, with the connection between Verizon Wireless and the MSOs to last into perpetuity. That original four-year wait on the MVNO option is now removed, or will be gone once the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) puts its stamp on it, too. (See Cable OK to Attack FiOS With Verizon Wireless and Verizon Wireless: Cable’s New BFF.)

According to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. analyst Craig Moffett, this revised, DoJ-blessed MVNO arrangement "is potentially the missing piece in what is potentially a highly disruptive wireless offering" for the cable operators.

The disruptive thing Moffett posits is a hybrid, low-cost service that offloads traffic on Wi-Fi first and uses cellular as a backup.

And there's already lots of evidence to back up that cable has such services in mind. For starters, many of the major cable operators are getting aggressive with their own Wi-Fi networks, going as far as creating roaming agreements. (See Cable Goes Big With Wi-Fi Roaming and TW Cable's Wi-Fi Rolls With Ruckus .)

Plus, operators have shown interest in offering voice over Wi-Fi, at least as a complement to cellular services. At The Cable Show in May, Comcast showed off Voice2Go, an app that lets customers place free outbound phone calls using Wi-Fi-connected phones, tablets and PCs. FierceCable, meanwhile, has come across a TW Cable patent for Wi-Fi roaming, and another one from Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) that envisions a hybrid Wi-Fi/cellular service offering. (See Comcast Gives Wi-Fi a Voice .)

Moffett acknowledges that Wi-Fi is unlikely to serve as a full wireless substitute due to coverage and reliability limitations. "Paired with an MVNO agreement, however, a Wi-Fi-first network could be a game changer," he noted. "Such an offer could be extremely disruptive to the wireless industry, but only if the cable operators had sufficiently dense Wi-Fi networks ... and a willing MVNO partner."

The cable operators have the MVNO partner covered, and, thanks to the DoJ, will be able to act on it as soon as they want to. But the Wi-Fi density part of the equation needs some more work.

The use of wireless cable modem gateways will help with in-home Wi-Fi coverage, but there are lots and lots of gaps they'll need to fill in outside of the home. The brief slideshow below offers a snapshot of U.S. cable's current outdoor Wi-Fi footprint (Cox has a list of locations in California where it's piloting Wi-Fi).



— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
shygye75
50%
50%
shygye75,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 5:23:34 PM
re: Cable's MVNO Option May Speed Wi-Fi Rollouts


As spotty as this MSO Wi-Fi map looks, the reality is probably even spottier. Wi-Fi coverage is measured in feet, not miles as with base stations. So there are going to be gaps even in the shaded areas.

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:23:32 PM
re: Cable's MVNO Option May Speed Wi-Fi Rollouts


Yep, these offer a very high level view of where the buildouts are happening, but the shortcomings you point out factor into why cable knows it can't do wireless on Wi-Fi alone.


For another view of those Wi-Fi buildouts, check out these interactive maps for:


- Comcast (then click on "check availability in your area")


- Bright House


- TW Cable


-Cablevision


JB


 

shygye75
50%
50%
shygye75,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 5:23:32 PM
re: Cable's MVNO Option May Speed Wi-Fi Rollouts


Thanks, Jeff. I would suggest that Mr. Moffett's assertion that this is a potential "game-changer" is a bit of an overstatement.

shygye75
50%
50%
shygye75,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 5:23:31 PM
re: Cable's MVNO Option May Speed Wi-Fi Rollouts


Overnight, or over 1001 nights (or more). At best, MSOs will get some potential churn relief by offering customers wi-fi as a value-add. But to suggest that this type of service will be a threat to mobile operators -- who of course are already augmenting their services in the same way -- is a bit, well, over the top.

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:23:31 PM
re: Cable's MVNO Option May Speed Wi-Fi Rollouts


Potential game-changer in the works, anyway.  To your point, it won't change any games overnight. JB

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
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, July 27, 1:00PM EDT
The Changing Face of the Data Center World
Rodney M. Elder, Senior Solutions Architect, Equinix
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
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
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
in association with:
From The Founder
The more things change, the more they stay the same for Juniper's next-gen comms solutions, and that's a good thing.
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
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   |   (0) 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.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T Launches Network Functions on Demand

7|17|16   |   05:26   |   (0) comments


Roman Pacewicz, Senior Vice President, Offer Management & Service Integration, AT&T Business Solutions, discusses the operator's launch of its Network Functions on Demand service.
LRTV Interviews
Enterprise Pitch for Ciscosson

7|14|16   |   04:43   |   (0) comments


After seven months of near silence, Cisco and Ericsson executives publicly discussed details on their extensive partnership. Among the tidbits shared by Martin Zander, VP, group strategy programs, Ericsson, and Doug Webster, VP service provider marketing, Cisco: The partnership was initially launched to serve the service provider market, but is already gaining ...
Wagner’s Ring
Cisco Faces Up to Hypercloud Threat

7|13|16   |   02:42   |   (0) comments


Facebook, Amazon and Google mostly don't buy branded technology for their networks – they build their own. That's a threat to Cisco – and its competitors too – which face potentially dwindling demand for their product. Is Cisco up to the challenge? Light Reading went to the annual Cisco Live conference to find out.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Connected Russia

7|13|16   |     |   (0) comments


At UBBS World Tour 2016, Alla Shabelnikova of Ovum shares the findings of a white paper outlining the challenges and opportunities of broadband rollout in Russia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Global Video Business

7|13|16   |     |   (0) comments


At UBBS World Tour 2016, Roger Feng of Huawei shares insights on the future of video business.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
UBBS World Tour Moscow Highlights

7|13|16   |     |   (0) comments


At UBBS World Tour 2016 at Moscow, Huawei showcases its outstanding progress in video technology.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
September 27, 2016, Philadelphia, PA
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
SoftBank Muscles In on ARM in $32B Deal
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/18/2016
Ericsson 'Doubles' Savings Goal as Sales Slump
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/19/2016
Kevin Lo's Move to Facebook: Sign of Things to Come?
Patrick Donegan, Chief Analyst, Heavy Reading, 7/20/2016
Verizon's Next With VNFs
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/21/2016
Facebook Gets Its Drone On
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/22/2016
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.
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.