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Cablevision Adds Wireless Expertise

Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) has hired Andrew Ip, a former Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) engineer, as vice president of wireless technology and operations, offering a possible indication that the operator is looking to expand its mobile data and voice pursuits.

Ip is officially tasked with continuing the development of Cablevision's wireless technology, including its Optimum WiFi network in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. He reports to Jerry Genova, Cablevision's executive VP of network management and field operations.

Ip began his career as a radio frequency engineer at Sprint, where he designed and operated the company's 2G/3G CDMA network in the New York metro area and helped with budgeting and competitive network analysis. Ip most recently was a partner at Meridian Advisory Group LLC, where he led the consultancy's wireless practice and worked with clients on Wi-Fi planning and new technology validation. At Interactive Broadband Consulting Group LLC, he concentrated on mobile and fixed broadband products.

Why this matters
Cablevision's wireless activities have largely concentrated on its big Wi-Fi effort, but the company has dropped a few clues about grander plans. With Ip now on board and specifically focused on wireless, it could mean Cablevision is getting closer to executing more ambitious projects.

Among the earlier hints: Cablevision has discussed the idea of developing a residential offering to be called Optimum Mobile that would support dual-mode devices that can operate on cellular networks and the MSO's own Wi-Fi network. Cablevision is still without a cellular partner, but recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filings implied that it's held discussions with T-Mobile US Inc. about potential wholesale partnerships.

Ip's new role does not extend to OMGFAST!, a fixed wireless service associated with Cablevision. The service offers 50Mbit/s broadband in parts of south Florida for $29.95 per month, using Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service (MVDDS) spectrum. (See Cablevision-Linked ISP Hawks Wireless Data .)

Cablevision's small-business unit, Optimum Business, currently offers a benefits program that lets qualified customers get discounted wireless services and equipment from Sprint.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



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