Light Reading
TWC is using WeFi's client software to help broadband customers locate the best-performing Wi-Fi hotspots when they're on the move

TW Cable Smartens Up Its Wi-Fi

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

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
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 Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Graham Finnie from Heavy Reading about some of the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control.
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
LRTV Interviews
Bob Wilson, Arsenal Legend: The Light Reading Interview

1|16|15   |   35:36   |   (3) comments


Arsenal goalkeeping legend Bob Wilson was Light Reading's guest interviewee at the 2020 Vision Executive Summit in December. See what the former soccer star and sports broadcaster had to say when he took to the stage in Iceland.
LRTV Custom TV
What MEF Third Network Initiative Means for SDN & NFV

1|14|15   |   6:13   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss discusses the importance of the MEF Third Network initiative and why it's good news for SDN/NFV industry initiatives.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Frank Miller: Distributed Solutions are the Best Build for the Future - Part II

1|9|15   |   2:46   |   (0) comments


At SCTE, Frank Miller, Global CTO of MSO at Huawei, speaks about Cable 2.0 and its innovative future.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cuomo Unveils Broadband Aid Program
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 1/19/2015
FiOS Picks Up Pace Again
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 1/22/2015
BlackBerry Wants Net Neutrality Protection -- That's Just Sad
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/22/2015
Indiana Carrier Takes Fiber to the Farm
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/22/2015
Verizon Ready for Google MVNO Challenge
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/22/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive