Cable Wi-Fi: The MSOs finally get wireless right

Tammy Parker, FierceWirelessTech

Cable operators have dallied in wireless numerous times over the years, but nothing has really stuck. Their Pivot and SpectrumCo initiatives came and went, and it seemed the MSOs might never carve out a significant role in wireless communications. But their wireless prospects changed for the better as soon as they started dabbling in unlicensed, rather than licensed, spectrum and nomadic, rather than highly mobile, services.

Cable is now a broadband business--according to The Leichtman Group, during the second quarter of 2014 broadband accounted for more subscribers than cable TV among the top cable providers--and MSOs naturally want to develop a pervasive, nomadic wireless presence to support their competitive positioning in broadband data and video. Fortunately for them, it's almost easy for cable operators to deploy Wi-Fi, given that they've already got rights of way, power and backhaul ready and waiting to provide the foundation for millions of hotspots.

So, what is the full story regarding cable operators' wireless ambitions? FierceWirelessTech has taken a look at the top five current business models, both near-term and long-range, being enabled by MSOs' Wi-Fi investments. For more, check out this special feature.--Tammy