Light Reading
Cable's deal with Verizon Wireless sets the stage for MSOs to create a 'disruptive' cellular/Wi-Fi service, an industry analyst says

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
shygye75
50%
50%
shygye75,
User Rank: Light Beer
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 Beer
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 Beer
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
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
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
LRTV Custom TV
Exploring the Future of Cable Access

10|15|14   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Brett Wingo looks at where cable access architectures are heading, discussing the impact of DOCSIS 3.1, CCAP, Remote PHY, SDN, virtualization of cable networks and related technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Optimizing & Monetizing WiFi

10|15|14   |   5:53   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Vince Pandolfi outlines the reasons for cable WiFi's rapid growth, lays out the issues with the technology and explains the new Cisco tools that can help operators monitor and improve their WiFi delivery.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Emulex & Huawei Collaboration Mutually Beneficial

10|14|14   |   4:17   |   (0) comments


US company Emulex collaborates with Huawei in areas such as blade servers and workload documentation. Mike Heumann of Emulex believes that Huawei has done incredibly well moving from a telecom company into servers and networks, working closely with customers to realize their needs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Chile's VZION Looks Forward to Seeing More of Huawei

10|14|14   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


VZION is a systems integrator company in Chile with a focus on virtulization technology. In this video, Cesar Alcacibar talks about the challenges in virtualization and how Huawei helps his company to achieve the best results possible. Alcacibar is expecting more adoption and integration of Huawei technologies in Chile.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pro-Datech & Huawei for a High-Tech Singapore

10|14|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


Pro-Datech Systems is a specialty IT solution provider based in Singapore. For an added value to its customers, the company uses Huawei's hardware and trusted performance and features for a total solution. It's looking forward to the creation of a lab, to be based in Singapore, for the two companies' coorporation on total storage solution.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Forget the Internet, Brace for Skynet
Stephen Saunders, 10/15/2014
HBO Will Go OTT in 2015
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/15/2014
Google: Carriers & Cloud Providers Need to Cooperate
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/16/2014
Could Data Be the New 'Currency'?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/16/2014
CBS Takes OTT Plunge
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed