Verizon Wireless's Cable Cold Zones

9:25 AM -- Verizon Wireless 's purchase of spectrum from four cable operators appears poised to hop its final regulatory hurdle as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to announce soon that it's unanimously in favor of the deals, according to Broadcasting & Cable. (See Wait for It! Verizon 4G Deal Still Needs FCC OK and Verizon Close to Clinching Cable Spectrum Deal.)

The release of that vote, anticipated to occur on Thursday, would pretty much seal up the deal, which includes several conditions originally imposed by the U.S. Department of Justice . Among the bigger ones, Verizon Wireless is barred from cross-selling its wireless services with its MSO partners' cable TV and broadband offerings in markets where Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has deployed FiOS. The DoJ didn't place any such restrictions on Verizon Wireless's cable partners.

As we pointed out earlier in list form, the restriction will prevent Verizon Wireless from bundling cable services in some big cities, including New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Dallas. (See Cable OK to Attack FiOS With Verizon Wireless.)

But we can now share a more visual, aerial view of where these overlapping, cold zones are, courtesy of Mosaik Solutions LLC (formerly American Roamer), a company that uses geospatial data to map out just about anything involving mobile and fixed service coverage, and even broadcast television footprints.

For a larger view of this map, please go here.

When shown in this view, Verizon Wireless's restrictions are concentrated, but spotty. Sure, Verizon Wireless have to tone it down in some major markets, but most areas where its cable partners operate are there for the attacking.

And Mosaik's mapping magic, handy for regulatory wonks and marketers who need to size up where their competition is, isn't relegated only to the U.S. President and CEO Bryan Darr says the company began collecting wireless information on a global basis about five years ago (Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), for example, uses Mosaik to help Kindle users discover where around the world the device has 3G coverage for book downloads). He expects Mosaik to expand its cable coverage into Canada and Mexico sometime during the next year.

And Mosaik's already helping the customers of some cable operators, including Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI) and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), to keep tabs on where those MSOs offer Wi-Fi.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:23:03 PM
re: Verizon Wireless's Cable Cold Zones

How is any of this going to benefit the consumer?  All of the wireless companies need spectrum for the future.  AT&T saw a way to get additional spectrum that was already in the bands that they currently offer service; real easy to make use of it today.  Verizon saw an alternative as it knew it couldn’t and wouldn’t want to buy Sprint, so they went after the cable companies.  AT&T probably couldn’t go that route because of their Uverse offering; FiOS has a very limited deployment.  Now you have AT&T fighting Verizon and the cable companies on the same front.  You also have two of those “cable companies” that own the content.  Is there money in the last mile for two or more providers per area?  It appears that the answer is no, so now you have Verizon with gobs of spectrum and the cable companies that can do the 1 – 2 punch to AT&T.  I just view the cable companies and Verizon putting downward pressure on prices to get AT&T out of TV and broadband business and then let the prices rise.  Cable companies were notorious for ever increasing rate increases because they were the only game in town.

I always hated the “bundles” as they were typically just a disaster waiting to happen.  This should really be interesting when people move and they go from one cable provider to another and want to keep the same wireless and/or home phone number.  Take Time Warner, if you move from one area to another, both service by Time Warner, you don’t move your account, you have to cancel service at one and then call the other area up to sign up.  I can only imagine how many people are accidently going to get all services cancelled.  Then they will be fighting left and right about getting their mobile phone reactivated with the same number and getting that early termination fee removed.  Oh, and grandfathered packages would be long gone too.

I would also expect to see area where Verizon only offers DSL to get out of that business and let the cable companies provide the broadband and phone service.  This goes along with what Verizon has been trying to do anyway.  None of this is going to benefit the consumer.  Why would a cable company want to invest in their network when they have no competition?  Why offer faster speeds?  Where is the consumer going to go?  Why not implement low caps as well?  Not like the consumer has a choice but to accept it.  The government has just granted Verizon and the cable companies a true monopoly in many areas.

steve q 12/5/2012 | 5:22:59 PM
re: Verizon Wireless's Cable Cold Zones

I see this as the biggest mistake that Verizon has done it stop them form moving the Fios network out past those cable company and make the price war for the internet all up to the wireless. There is no room for Verizon Wireless to try to match the speed of Verizon Fios,and with the need for faster fiber fios is the only way. This is just like the old company Nynex when it did long distance phone service. With out the Verizon Fios data network most of the cust that have cable will not leave even if the cable company price will go up they can not get any video service with Verizon Wireless until they can push the 4g past there own service provider.

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