The cable industry's bread and butter, a highly profitable video business, is cracking as people consume more and more content via over-the-top distribution channels. However, at the same time, a massive opportunity with unknown dimensions has quietly emerged: Wi-Fi. Special report
The lightning-quick emergence of cable's carrier-grade Wi-Fi business is well timed, given the ongoing degradation of the business that built the cable industry, video services. Analysts predict cable Wi-Fi will grow, in about three years time, to become the primary mobile network, ahead of cellular. But what will the economics of these networks look like?
This year may be remembered as one of the most transformational in the history of the cable business--and not because of huge pending mergers. While video services are beginning to give way to over-the-top distribution, a big opportunity has emerged in Wi-Fi.
Qualcomm Atheros is doing its part of make better use of Wi-Fi spectrum with multi-user (MU), multiple input-multiple output (MIMO) technology. Expanding on its portfolio of 802.11ac 2.0 capable chips, the company is introducing the QCA9377, which extends the performance benefits of Qualcomm's branded MU|EFX technology to notebooks, TVs, cameras and other consumer electronics that are connected to crowded Wi-Fi networks.
From the high seas to underground tunnels, Royal Caribbean wants to make sure people get their Wi-Fi. The cruise line partnered with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York to bring free Wi-Fi to underground subway platforms in Manhattan and Queens.
The short-seller activist investor who declared war on Globalstar is not backing down, releasing yet another scathing report against the company. In its latest salvo, hedge fund Kerrisdale Capital released a report saying it conducted tests using an independent firm, Allion Engineering Services--the same firm that Comcast uses to test its Wi-Fi--and found the test results that Globalstar filed with the FCC in June 2013 "do not reflect real-world tests."
Mimosa Networks, the Campbell, Calif., startup that wrapped a $20 million funding round in May and released its first product in August, is now ready to deliver on its second product release: devices that will enable ISPs to get wireless broadband signals into consumers' homes.
Samsung Electronics says it has developed a 60 GHz Wi-Fi technology capable of bridging the gap between theoretical and actual Wi-Fi speeds.
Samsung Electronics said it has developed Wi-Fi technology using the 60 GHz WiGig standard that can transmit data at 4.6 Gbps. That is around five times faster than existing peak 802.11ac Wi-Fi speeds of around 866 Mbps.
Mobile satellite firm Globalstar is taking an activist investor to task for claiming that the company's wireless spectrum is worthless. Kerrisdale Capital, a short-seller that would benefit from a drop in the company's stock price, said earlier this week that Globalstar's spectrum, which is in the upper 2.4 GHz band, is not valuable because there is already a glut of Wi-Fi spectrum in the U.S.