The Core

Casa Systems gets a piece of Mediacom's wireless action

Casa Systems has identified itself as a key vendor for a new fixed wireless service from Mediacom Communications that the cable operator is using to bring broadband to hard-to-reach areas.

Casa Systems confirmed that Mediacom has selected the vendor's evolved packet core (EPC) and fixed wireless access systems to help underpin Mediacom Bolt, a relatively new fixed wireless broadband service focused on underserved homes and businesses in remote portions of Mediacom's service footprint.

The vendor said Mediacom is the first cable company to widely deploy its new hybrid fixed-wireless platform and cloud-based core, which is capable of supporting Citizens Broadband Radio Spectrum (CBRS) spectrum.

Mediacom launched Bolt earlier this year. The service primarily taps into licensed CBRS spectrum that Mediacom secured at auction – the cable operator spent some $29 million for 576 CBRS licenses. Mediacom confirmed that Bolt had initially been introduced in parts of Alabama, Iowa and Florida in July 2021, with plans to light up more CBRS sites in counties where it had won CBRS spectrum. Mediacom Bolt currently markets three speed tiers: Internet 25 (25 Mbit/s down by 3 Mbit/s up; Internet 50 (50 Mbit/s down by 5 Mbit/s up); and Internet 100 (100 Mbit/s down coupled with 10 Mbit/s to 20 Mbit/s in the upstream, depending on the area).

A Mediacom official said today the cable operator now has towers activated in six states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota), noting that the "project is still in the early stages as we fine tune the process."

Casa is the second vendor to be identified for Mediacom's Bolt service. In August, Ericsson announced that its 4G and 5G RAN products are being woven into the Mediacom Bolt platform.

But the piece involving Casa reflects a broader trend underway in the cable industry, as operators and their suppliers continue to shift more of their business toward wireless and mobile.

Mediacom is one of a group of cable operators that came away with CBRS spectrum in last year's auction and have since begun to implement it. But Casa's core business has changed even more. Casa's origins stem from the cable wireline access network market, but wireless now represents Casa's largest business. At last check, the company, which has expanded into wireless through organic product development and via acquisition, had more than 40 wireless customers.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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