U.S. Cable Operators to Have 250K Wi-Fi Hotspots in Place by 2014

Jun 11, 2013 No Comments by

BOSTON, June 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The cable industry has embarked on its boldest mission yet to make wireless a part of cable’s product portfolio, and Heavy Reading predicts the industry will have spent more than $350 million putting in place more than 250,000 cable Wi-Fi hotspots by mid-2014, according to the latest report from Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider (www.heavyreading.com/cable), a subscription research service from Heavy Reading (www.heavyreading.com).

From Wired to Wireless: Cable Uses Wi-Fi to Extend Its Reach explores cable’s Wi-Fi deployment, the market drivers and its implications for cable operators and suppliers. Included is a look at six suppliers that are supporting cable’s Wi-Fi efforts.

“Major cable MSOs are embracing Wi-Fi in a comprehensive manner,” notes Craig Leddy, research analyst with Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider and author of the report. “They are using Wi-Fi to extend cable broadband services around and outside the home, and they are setting up public Wi-Fi hotspots to provide free wireless broadband service.”

By about this time in 2014, Heavy Reading projects the industry will have spent more than $350 millionon Wi-Fi infrastructure, and that more than 250,000 cable Wi-Fi hotspots will be in place, Leddy says. “The cable industry has been searching for an opportunity to provide wireless services and now it has its chance with Wi-Fi,” he continues. “While direct revenue is not easy to measure at this stage, sources say there is early evidence that Wi-Fi is having a positive effect on subscriber retention. The future business opportunities are tantalizing, even though they are somewhat speculative at this point.”

Key findings of From Wired to Wireless: Cable Uses Wi-Fi to Extend Its Reach include the following:

  • U.S. MSOs are rapidly adding Wi-Fi service, deploying about 150,000 public hotspots so far.
  • Cable will surpass 250,000 hotspots in 2014, spending more than $350 million on access points alone.
  • MSOs are using Wi-Fi today to extend broadband services – including video – outside the home.
  • Five MSOs are enabling cross-territory roaming through CableWiFi, which will be aided by HotSpot 2.0 roaming initiatives.
  • Emerging opportunities include business services, mobile offload and, although speculative, a potential cable MVNO phone service with Verizon.


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