Comcast's new WiFi Pro service is now live.
First uncovered by Light Reading in November, the managed WiFi service officially launched today with features to support both employee and guest networks at business locations. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is also offering options for controlling how bandwidth is allocated, setting content filters and defining rules for guest access. WiFi Pro users can create custom splash pages for marketing purposes and manage network configurations from either a mobile app or online portal. (See Telcos Beware: New Comcast WiFi Product Close to Launch.)
The new service is designed for both small and midsized businesses as well as large enterprises.
Why it matters The cable industry is relying on the growth of business services to combat video declines and increasing broadband market saturation. The move into managed WiFi offerings is a natural extension of cable operators' existing WiFi hotspot efforts, and for Comcast, it's a must-have as the company begins its push into the large enterprise sector.
It's also worth noting that Comcast is working to bring together the top cable operators in the country in a collaborative effort to pursue enterprise customers. That suggests that any managed WiFi offering made available by Comcast could potentially even trickle down into customer engagements managed by other cable operators.
- Cable business services are growing at an annual rate of about 20%, but they still only make up about 10% of cable revenue today. (See Moffett: Business Services Critical to Cable Growth.)
- The large enterprise sector is worth up to $15 billion in the US, but cable operators currently own less than 1% of that total. (See Top MSOs Team for National Enterprise Push.)
- According to a Tech Pro Research study cited by Comcast, 74% of business are using or plan to use bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, which can have a dramatic impact on business WiFi management.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading