Light Reading

Verizon Wireless: Cable’s New BFF

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
12/5/2011
50%
50%

When it comes to a new deal struck between Verizon Wireless , Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks , the cable MSOs are apparently in it for the long haul. The real long haul. (See MSOs Sell AWS Spectrum to Verizon for $3.6B .)

The optional MVNO component of the multi-faceted deal, which enters play in about four years, includes terms that will let the MSOs resell services on Verizon Wireless's mobile network into "perpetuity," Comcast Cable President Neil Smit said Monday at a UBS AG investor's conference.

It's an important admission since U.S. cable operators, including the three that are now working with Verizon Wireless, have dipped their toes in and out of the wireless waters several times but have yet to take the plunge. They backed out of the original Pivot resale venture with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and are six months away from halting the sale of mobile broadband services delivered over Sprint's 3G network and Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) WiMax network. (See Comcast, TW Cable to Halt Clearwire Sales and MSOs Pivoting Away From Sprint JV.)

But Smit likes the new deal because it answers Comcast's long-term needs without a huge network-building cash outlay. "It's great because we don’t have to invest in building a wireless network," he said. "We're not going to go out and acquire a wireless player, so it gives us access to what we feel is the best [wireless] network out there for a long time."

Smit emphasized that Comcast will continue to compete with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s FiOS video and high-speed Internet services. In fact, Comcast and the other MSO partners will be able to use Verizon Wireless against FiOS.

The innovation technology J.V. element of the deal, to be split between the MSOs and Verizon Wireless, "will be a very important strategic, competitive advantage," Smit added, noting that the work that results from that will, for example, allow Comcast customers to start watching video on smartphones and resume it when they get home. That part of the deal will also let Comcast customers buy phones at Verizon Wireless stores with their cable profiles pre-loaded so customers can purchase the device and start watching video on it wirelessly almost immediately, he said.

Even before the MVNO play becomes possible, the initial agency piece of the deal, which will let the MSOs sell their services in Verizon Wireless stores and vice-versa, will begin to ramp up next year. Comcast, Smit said, is looking for that part to go live in four markets in the early part of 2012. "Teams are meeting already," he said.

And that element will get underway separate from the Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum sale, which is going through its own process and, pending government reviews, isn't expected to be completed until the second half of next year.

So what does Sprint and CEO Dan Hesse, Comcast's erstwhile mobile partner, think of all this? "I think there's some recognition that we're setting a bit of a different strategy, and I think they understand it," said Comcast CFO and Vice Chairman Michael Angelakis. "From a business perspective, they congratulated us."

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
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
Comcast Formally Ends Its Bid for TWC
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/24/2015
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
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