Light Reading

TW Cable Smartens Up Its Wi-Fi

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
12/2/2012
50%
50%
Repost This

Almost a year ago, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) launched its Wi-Fi Finder app to help its broadband customers find the best wireless broadband connection while they're on the move. But only now is it being revealed who is supplying the guts of the app: WeFi Inc.

It makes sense considering the MSO is one of four known investors in the 6-year-old company.

For Time Warner Cable, WeFi created a tailored version of its Wi-Fi hotspot-finding software client for mobile devices. The client provides local data so WeFi's database and decision engine, which tracks more than 150 million hotspots, can get a fix on network performance and traffic levels. WeFi system tabulates data obtained during a 24-hour span alongside a current readout of network performance to tell the device which is the best available.

That blended data method, explains WeFi Chairman and CEO Zur Feldman, lets the system predict the quality of, and provide current characteristics of, the Wi-Fi signals. It's up to the carrier to pick the policy. TW Cable, for instance, could set up the app to choose one of its hotspots first before trying one from a roaming partner or some other provider.

TWC rolled out an Android version of the client in late 2011, and followed with an iOS app in January.



Based on knowing where the high-traffic areas are, the system can also help operators plan and expand their Wi-Fi networks and pinpoint gaps in coverage.

WeFi, which has about 45 employees, claims to have its client software distributed on 7 million devices (the company offers a free consumer version in addition to the apps it tailors for partners) that supply the data.

WeFi runs sales and marketing in the U.S. and R&D in Tel Aviv, Israel. It counts Devicescape Software Inc. among its competitors and has deals with other Tier 1 and 2 operators that it hasn't disclosed. Obvious candidates include TW Cable's Wi-Fi roaming partners: Cox Communications Inc. , Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Bright House Networks .

Why this matters
Cable operators are using Wi-Fi primarily to protect their high-margin broadband services, but not all Wi-Fi networks are created equal. To get an edge on the others, cable operators such as TW Cable are using tools such as We-Fi's to help its users automatically locate the best available connection. That trend isn't lost on other vendors that are underpinning carrier Wi-Fi platforms. It's one of the big reasons why Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) bought ThinkSmart Technologies and Meraki Networks Inc. -- companies that will add brains to Cisco's Wi-Fi routers and controllers. (See Cisco Snaps Up Wi-Fi Analytics Startup and Why Cisco Wants Meraki's Wi-Fi Smarts.)

TW Cable continues to get aggressive with Wi-Fi deployment. A spokesman says the MSO now has more than 8,000 hotspots deployed in Los Angeles; New York City; Charlotte, N.C.; and, just last week, Kansas City. TWC and its cable partners have deployed more than 60,000 hotspots.

For more



— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (4) comments


US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
LRTV Custom TV
Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
LRTV Documentaries
Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (7) comments


Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
LRTV Documentaries
Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment


Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
LRTV Custom TV
Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments


Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments


Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Documentaries
Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments


Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
LRTV Custom TV
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at Mobile World Congress

4|1|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger speaks to Heavy Reading about the value of virtualization spanning from the data center to service provider networks to mobile devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Analysts' Impressions of Huawei SoftCOM at ONS 2014

4|1|14   |   1:11   |   (0) comments


After visiting the Huawei booth at ONS, Lee Doyle of Doyle Research gives his appraisal of Huawei's SoftCOM solution.
Hot Topics
BlackBerry Invests in Healthcare IT Startup
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/15/2014
Volvo: AT&T HSPA+ Can Drive My Car
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/16/2014
T-Mobile Petitions Operators to Kill Overages
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Cisco & VMware Are Apple & Google of SDN
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/14/2014
Mobile Apps Susceptible to Heartbleed, Too
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed