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Arris Whips Up Some Cable WiFi

11:15 AM -- A run on Docsis 3.0 gear late last year allowed Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) to blow out its fourth quarter, but the cable vendor is also seeing some uptick in its WiFi partnership business here at the start of 2010. (See Arris Swirls With MSO 'Budget Flush'.)

Sunflower Broadband , a mid-sized MSO headquartered in Lawrence, Kan., has tapped Arris's "Rapid Launch Hot Zone System" to beef up its existing WiFi service capabilities.

Arris didn't reveal financial terms, but it won't be the only vendor benefiting from the deal, since Arris developed the Hot Zone system by integrating BelAir Networks Inc. 's wireless gear with a centralized management system from SolutionInc Ltd.

Sunflower, whose WiFi strategy mimics Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC)'s to a degree, says the new system will help it expand its business with commercial customers and integrate with third-party billing systems, while accommodating a variety of pay-per-use options using credit cards, email accounts, and access codes. That same system will also give Sunflower a way to manage WiFi access points individually, including the ability to offer tiered levels of service. (See Cablevision Expects Lower WiFi Bill .)

Sunflower, which has already tapped Arris for its Docsis 3.0 rollout, expects to begin deployments next month. It'll start off by applying the new system to about 60 BelAir WiFi access points serving Lawrence and a handful of surrounding communities, including Basehor, Tonganoxi, Linwood, and Eudora. (See Sunflower Uncaps D3 Video Tier .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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