AT&T is rolling out new video access points in all of its U-verse markets for video customers who want to watch TV over a WiFi-connected set-top, using a combination of Arris hardware and a 4x4 802.11n chipset from Quantenna.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), which initially used a Cisco Systems Inc. access point and a Broadcom Corp. chipset, started testing the Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) VAP2500 access points in select markets in April. AT&T began ramping up full-scale deployments in early August.
When AT&T launched its wireless set-top service two years ago, the company started with the Cisco access point and the Broadcom chipset. However, there have always been limitations to the number of wireless set-tops that U-verse could support in a single home.
"The VAP2500 gives us better reach and performance," says an AT&T spokesperson. "And in the future, it will give us the capability to increase the number of wireless receivers per customer home."
The U-verse deployment is particularly good news for Quantenna Communications Inc. , which has raised a serious amount of cash -- more than $169 million as of 2012 -- in an effort to gain traction with its video-over-WiFi chipsets. At the Consumer Electronics Show last January, the company announced that it had completed integration with Mediaroom, the middleware platform that powers U-verse. (See Video-Over-Wi-Fi Start-Up Bags $79M More.)
Separately, Quantenna announced in June that its most advanced chipset has been incorporated into Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)'s Puma video gateway platform. The Quantenna QSR1000 is an 802.11ac Wave 2 product that can deliver multiple wireless streams simultaneously to different client devices. In total, the QSR1000 can support a throughput rate of 1.7 Gbit/s. (See Quantenna Quickens Intel Gateways.)
Overall, it's been a good summer for Quantenna. The prospect of targeting AT&T's 5 million plus U-verse TV customers should make it a fine fall as well.
— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading Cable