Light Reading

TW Cable Eyes Small Cells Too

Dan Jones
11/6/2013
50%
50%

Time Warner Cable Business Services believes that it's well-placed to deploy and run small cells, but it still has to sort out ownership and other issues with the carriers before that happens.

The Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) operation has been considering how it could use its position in the industry to eventually offer "small cells as a service," said Greg King, SVP of business services product and strategy at TWC, speaking in a briefing in New York City last week.

Small cells are tiny basestations that are supposed to serve as a complement to the macro network, extending the speed and range of 3G and -- eventually -- 4G services. Much of the early action in the market has involved 3G home basestations (femtocells) but is expected to extend to picocells and metrocells that can serve public access needs indoors and outdoors over the next few years. (See Sprint Has Samsung 4G LTE Small Cells: Analyst.)

The second-largest US MSO believes that the backhaul capabilities it already has -- passing 10,000 towers in the US -- coupled with the building licensing and pole mounting rights it has as a cable operator, put it in a premier position to mount, power, and maintain these tiny basestations.

"We would like to have the opportunity to provide the entire service," King said.

There are one or two issues, however, to be resolved first. Key amongst these is the fact that TWC doesn't have the wireless spectrum on hand to support small cell deployments.

In which case, the cable representatives were asked during the briefing, do you own the asset?

"We could," offered Phil Meeks, EVP and COO for business services. "That is a topic of discussion with our partners."

A wider problem is that the expected dates for widespread small cell deployments have been slipping, with many now expecting that large rollouts won't happen until sometime in 2014 or 2015. (See ESDN: Verizon Wants Fast, Cheap Small Cells.)

"We're in a lot of discussions about it, there hasn't been much doing yet." Meeks said.

"I think it'll happen fast when it happens," King added.

TWC isn't the only cable company trying to understand the small cell market and potentially stake a claim in the deployment of these tiny indoor and outdoor radios. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is also believed to be testing small cells now. (See Comcast Testing Small Cells – Sources.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading


Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to a Light Reading Live event that takes place Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at the Westin Times Square in New York City. Back by popular demand for the seventh straight year, The Future of Cable Business Services 2013 is a one-day conference that will examine the progress that cable operators are making in the roughly $140-billion US business telecom services market and the challenges they face in keeping up the momentum. For more information, or to register, click here.


(10)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
daily_leonard
50%
50%
daily_leonard,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/3/2013 | 10:59:19 AM
Re: TWC and Small cells
Managed services is again a tried and true business model.  My first exposure to DAS was actually thru IBM trying to push a business solutions model that included, phone, internet, wireless, etc. all on a neutral hosted platform that IBM would own.  The carriers weren't prepared at the time to give up a monthly fee to them but given the outsource model today its whole new ball game.
daily_leonard
50%
50%
daily_leonard,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/3/2013 | 10:55:37 AM
Re: TWC going wireless
To provide backhaul, which is all the cable providers and other long haul fiber operators would need to do,  there is no need to own any spectrum.  Forming partnerships to transport these packages of voice and data to the hubs is all that required and nothing new.  Operators like Comcast, TWC, Zayo, etc. are currently providing fiber-to-the-cell (FTTC) for several of the larger wireless carriers now and providing this same service to a utility pole is no different.  Its a proven business model.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
11/6/2013 | 5:39:51 PM
Re: TWC and Small cells
They wouldn't name names but they say they are talking to several. This seems like its going to take a while to play out, if it ever does, just like everything in the world of small cells!
JerryW805
50%
50%
JerryW805,
User Rank: Light Beer
11/6/2013 | 5:36:16 PM
Re: TWC and Small cells
I saw that but they would have to have a small cell vendor that was approved and supported by the carrier to intragate into thier network. How could the carrier moniter network quality, hand offs, capacity, etc., unless TWC wants to provide SCaaS with SLAs and with a vendor supported by the carrier... It just might be that TWC is working on this with a carrier now and they want to vet the strategy by putting it out in pulbic...good article Dan!
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
11/6/2013 | 5:04:43 PM
Re: TWC and Small cells
Sounds about right, except that TWC was clear that they want to install and manage the small cell itself too. Hence "small cell as a service." Worth a mention I thought. 
JerryW805
50%
50%
JerryW805,
User Rank: Light Beer
11/6/2013 | 4:34:47 PM
TWC and Small cells
Hey everyone this is a backhaul strategy for the TWC carrier partners. TWC wants to sell backhaul to the wireless carriers small cell locations and also provide them access to thier locations on poles and buildings.

The issue for the carriers and for TWC will be pricing for that backhaul transport for these small cells. If its priced the same as a marco cell site, the businss model for small cells will not work for the carriers. A 100Mg ethernet circuit cannot cost >$2000/mo per small cell location. As a former C-Level in the wireless industry this is an economic issue that the MSO all will have to deal with for these carriers.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
11/6/2013 | 12:36:37 PM
Re: TWC going wireless
Its basically the table stakes for any MSO that wants to get in the small cells game. My sense form the TWC execs is that they're eyeing 2014 for small deplyments and 2015 as the inflection point if it happens.
MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
11/6/2013 | 12:32:08 PM
Re: TWC going wireless
This a rehash of the same conversation we had when it was Comcast.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
11/6/2013 | 11:37:02 AM
Re: TWC going wireless
Their counter would be that they can much more easily deploy boxes on poles in cities because they already have the licensing rights squared away with local govt.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
11/6/2013 | 11:00:05 AM
TWC going wireless
TWC deploying small cells sounded all well and good until you get to the part that they don't own any wireless spectrum. I'm sure they could acquire or partner for it, but that seems to be a lot more complex and expensive than just sticking with its WiFi strategy. The cable companies do want a wireless strategy though, so maybe the economics work out?
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000, featuring Intel's Rack Scale Architecture, caused a stir when it was announced at MWC 2015. For more on this revolutionary product, join me on Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 p.m. EST for a Super Webinar event, A New Hardware Paradigm for the Telco Data Center.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
In its latest survey covering network operators' plans and strategies for ICT transformation, Heavy Reading asked telecom operators worldwide to identify the most important goals and objectives for their ICT transformation initiatives. Heavy Reading also asked operators about the importance of a "digital first" strategy, which enables customers to complete an interaction across different digital channels, such as web and mobile self-service and social media.
Hot Topics
What if the Comcast Merger Fails?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/20/2015
Google's WiFi-First Mobile Service 'Fi' Is Here
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2015
Comcast Merger May Hinge on Hulu
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/22/2015
Comcast Formally Ends Its Bid for TWC
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/24/2015
Google Ready to Release Thousands of Loons
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 4/20/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
Cats with Phones
Learning Curve Click Here
Pierre could never remember how to use Excel.
Latest Comment