Cable Wi-Fi

Cable WiFi Hotspots Could Hit 1M in Year

NEW YORK -- Future of Cable Business Services -- Cable providers could deploy up to 1 million WiFi hotspots by the end of next year, according to industry experts speaking on a panel here Wednesday.

Cable providers extending their reach with 802.11 access points have been a hot trend this year. This trend is set to continue in 2014, the experts said. (See Can Cable WiFi Scale?)

Heavy Reading is predicting that the Cable WiFi initiative will have 250,000 hotspots online in early 2014, up from 200,000 broadcasting data right now. "After that, the sky's the limit," said Heavy Reading Contributing Analyst Craig Leddy, who moderated the panel and authored a recent Cable Insider report on the subject.

Speakers on Wednesday's Monetizing WiFi panel suggested that cable operators could wind up with between 400,000 and 1 million hotspots by December 2014.

That number could grow massively if cable providers can bring home access points into the mix. Dan Rice, SVP of network technologies at CableLabs, cited set-ups that allow users to access home WiFi bandwidth through public and private SSIDs as being hugely popular in Europe. (See AT&T Strikes WiFi Deal With Fon.)

"Hopefully it catches on in the US too," said Rice.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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