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Clifton K Morris
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Clifton K Morris,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/31/2019 | 2:55:07 PM
Re: Cable's long history dallying with mobility
This is certainly a smart move, especially if it involves PCS band spectrum, which has much, much more compatibility with devices already owned by customers.

Few people may remember this, but Craig McCaw and John Stanton originally owned a cable company before selling it to get into wireless in the 1980s. (McCaw Cellular). So, it can be done. Question is if other cable companies (like Cox) among with rural providers would be interested in some of these assets too. T-Mobile would still have this rural 5G deployment obligation so working together with rural carriers would be a patriotic thing.

There's a lot of interesting things that could come of this, as hardware at the node is upgraded for DOCSIS 3.1 and 2-GHz plant those upgrades could easily include a PCS/AWS LTE radio at the pillar. Containing the LTE signal to a city block (or even in a office setting) increases capacity... potentially creating wholesale business for Cable companies... who has always focus on delivering a service inside a building unlike wireless, where indoor coverage only occurs only when a large company is obligated to buy hundreds of phones.

There'd also be a complementary business for broadband when T-Mobile swallows Sprint's fiber business...

I think Comcast, whose core asset is based in content ownership (via NBC, Universal Pictures, theme parks), has always lacked the right management team to understand connectivity (especially office broadband and wireless business) which have higher margins, and the low, (usually under 0.5% annual )customer attrition/churn.  It'd be worth getting into but they just don't know how to hire the right people for it.
f_goldstein
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f_goldstein,
User Rank: Moderator
5/31/2019 | 1:05:50 PM
Cable's long history dallying with mobility
Cable has played around the edges of mobile networks for a long time. Recall that Comcast used to own Metrophone, the Philly-area A-side carrier. They sold it ca. 1999 after deciding not to go big. Cable companies may have owned an initial piece of Sprint PCS too. Comcast, Charter, Cox, and TWC later got together to do SpectrumCo, which did buy a lot of 700 MHz in 2007. But they didn't build out: Mobile licenses are speculative financial assets, and they sold it to VZW for a nice fat profit. Comcast also briefly dallied with a Sprint MVNO, Pilot.

Now the gimmick is that they have an MVNO but try to connect to their ubiquitous cable hotspots whenever possible. A Comcast Wireless Gateway is a cable modem with built-in WiFi that is both "your" home WiFi and a public hotspot. Their CBRS strategy seems similar, to put nodes on the poles/strands to pick up the phones without using MVNO minutes. And recall that it was cable interests who got the FCC to change the CBRS PALs from tracts to counties, because in some states (far from all) the cable franchises are by county.

So maybe they'll buy some S/T-M spectrumd, but it might just be speculative, until the smoke clears and VZW pays them more for it.


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