Light Reading
Also: Dish loses 19,000 subscribers; changes afoot at CTAM; retrans fees set to explode

Docsis Vendor Thinks Big About Small Cells

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
11/6/2012
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Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.

  • Ubee Interactive , a vendor known for Docsis cable modems and gateways, will be getting deeper into the wireless broadband and backhaul game after integrating its fixed-line and small-cell subsidiaries. Leonard Kao, previously an SVP at Ubee, is now CEO of the combined company; former Ubee CEO, Bob Mao, will remain on the board of directors. Ubee jumped into small cells in March when it purchased the assets of Dallas-based AirWalk Communications, and created a subsidiary called UbeeAirWalk. Its small-cell unit currently makes a range of products for enterprise and consumer applications, and is in the process of developing Long Term Evolution (LTE)-based gear. Ubee is ramping up in this area as cable operators get more aggressive with Wi-Fi network deployments and cell backhaul strategies. Some of Ubee's larger cable customers include Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Charter Communications Inc. , Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), UPC Broadband , Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) and Ziggo B.V. (See Ubee Buys Airwalk Assets.)

  • Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) posted a third-quarter net loss of US$158.5 million on revenues of $3.52 billion, missing Bloomberg's projected profit of $251 million and revenues of $3.56 billion. Dish lost 19,000 net subscribers in the quarter, a bit better than the 36,000 loss anticipated by analysts. Dish was hit with $730 million in litigation-related expenses in the quarter, while subscriber acquisition costs rose 15 percent, to $453 million. Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. analyst Craig Moffett summed the situation up like this in a research note: "Third quarter results continue to point to a company whose core business is still struggling … badly."

  • Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) will lay off about a quarter of its staff (eight positions) by year's end, a move that results from a decision to discontinue its annual Summit and Insights conferences amid increased industry consolidation, reports Multichannel News, citing CTAM CEO Char Beales. CTAM will instead transform its annual conferences into a few smaller events, including an invitation-only Executive Forum for MSO and content marketers, and a one-day, open event for mid-level execs. (See CTAM Reorgs, Shifts Event Strategy.)

  • Cheers in Boston (yes, this one) has hired Comcast to provide trunking and broadband services, including Wi-Fi access, for the iconic restaurant. The bulk of Comcast's growing business services division comes from businesses with less than 20 employees served by its HFC plant, while about 15 percent come from its line of Metro Ethernet services. (See Comcast Makes Hay With Metro Ethernet .)

  • Retransmission fees reaped by TV station owners could reach $5.5 billion by 2017 and eclipse $6 billion by 2018, well above the $2.36 billion expected in 2012, predicts SNL Kagan . By 2015, the firm expects an average retrans fee of 74 cents per TV station per month, still below the $6.37 per sub per month that MSOs are projected to pay for ESPN, $1.50 for TNT, or $1.49 for NFL Network.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



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