Cox Picks Arris, Netgear for Next-Gen WiFi

Cox isn't licensing the new Comcast digital home solution to power its premium Panoramic WiFi service. At least not yet.

Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video

February 3, 2017

3 Min Read
Cox Picks Arris, Netgear for Next-Gen WiFi

Cox is the latest cable company to make a push into premium home WiFi, and it's relying on Arris and Netgear equipment to deliver the upgraded service.

Following soft launches in California in 2016, Cox Communications Inc. is now ready to aggressively promote its new Panoramic WiFi service including: faster wireless speeds, expanded in-home coverage with WiFi extenders, a mobile app for network management, optional professional installation and round-the-clock customer support. While only available in California today, Cox says service availability will expand to new markets in 2017, and that the company will kick off a campaign to market Panoramic WiFi with a Super Bowl ad set to air regionally in San Diego this weekend.

Figure 1: New Cox Super Bowl commercial for Panoramic WiFi was directed by Joseph Kahn, who is known in the music world for directing videos for U2, Moby and DMX, among others. New Cox Super Bowl commercial for Panoramic WiFi was directed by Joseph Kahn, who is known in the music world for directing videos for U2, Moby and DMX, among others.

The cost of the service is $10 per month, plus $4 per month for any WiFi extenders. Professional installation fees also apply.

Why is the Panoramic WiFi launch important? For two reasons.

First, Cox is the just the latest Internet service provider to emphasize in-home WiFi performance as a key component of its consumer broadband offering. Cable companies have talked about the importance of delivering a premium WiFi product for years as a way to drive new revenue, cut down on customer complaints and keep up with the faster broadband speeds enabled through wired connections. However, the path to deployment has been slow. That's finally starting to change with more competitive pressure coming from the retail sector and more operators actively launching next-generation WiFi packages. (See Google Plans Home WiFi Takeover, Frontier Calls In WiFi Fix With AirTies Mesh and Battle for the Home Network? It's On.)

Want to know more about cable's wireless ambitions? Check out our cable WiFi channel here on Light Reading.

Second, in choosing hardware from Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) and Netgear Inc. (Nasdaq: NTGR) for its new WiFi service, Cox is forgoing an opportunity to hop on the Comcast bandwagon and license that operator's new "digital home" service. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) announced its in-home networking platform early in January, and Canadian operator Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI) has said since then that it will license the WiFi solution alongside Comcast's X1 video platform. Cox also licenses X1. (See Comcast Unveils Smart Home Platform and Rogers Embraces 'Comcast North' Strategy.)

Naturally, in moving forward with its own Panoramic WiFi offering, Cox hasn't dismissed the notion of ever using Comcast's digital home platform in the future. For the moment, however, Cox has chosen a different route. Customers that want to sign up for Panoramic WiFi will either need to rent the Arris TG2472 802.11ac WiFi modem or subscribe to Cox's Gigablast service using a Netgear R6300 router.

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Mari Silbey

Senior Editor, Cable/Video

Mari Silbey is a senior editor covering broadband infrastructure, video delivery, smart cities and all things cable. Previously, she worked independently for nearly a decade, contributing to trade publications, authoring custom research reports and consulting for a variety of corporate and association clients. Among her storied (and sometimes dubious) achievements, Mari launched the corporate blog for Motorola's Home division way back in 2007, ran a content development program for Limelight Networks and did her best to entertain the video nerd masses as a long-time columnist for the media blog Zatz Not Funny. She is based in Washington, D.C.

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