Comcast, Charter and others cable players continue to see opportunity in Wi-Fi during Q2

Although Wall Street analysts continued to fret over declines in the number of pay-TV subscribers, the nation's cable players generally offered positive views of Wi-Fi and their plans to expand the use of the technology. Indeed, a number of cable companies specifically mentioned their Wi-Fi plans during their second quarter conference calls with analysts.

Charter Communications, which is in the process of acquiring Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, reiterated its promises that the combined company -- dubbed New Charter -- would make significant investments in Wi-Fi. "In addition to rolling out more advanced services like Spectrum Guide and Worldbox, New Charter will invest significantly in both in-home and out-of-home Wi-Fi. We'll deploy over 300,000 out-of-home Wi-Fi access points," CEO Thomas Rutledge said during the carrier's call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript of the event.

Similarly, Comcast said Wi-Fi remains a key focus of the company's strategy. "Our high speed data service continues to gain share as we differentiate our product through speed upgrades and the deployment of wireless gateways. Not only do these gateways provide our customers with the fastest in home Wi-Fi, they are also fueling our impressive growth in Wi-Fi hotspots, which now number more than 10 million," said Michael Cavanagh, CFO of Comcast, the nation's largest cable provider.

Cable vendors, too, said they see opportunity in Wi-Fi. "We continue to see operators invest in more advanced platforms capable of delivering up to gigabit speeds and the latest in Wi-Fi technologies. 80 percent of our Broadband devices shipped during the quarter were Wi-Fi enabled; this reflects both DSL and DOCSIS technologies. The trend towards advanced Wi-Fi remains a real positive, as this will further drive an industry upgrade cycle as consumers demand more from their in-home networks," said Arris executive Larry Robinson. Arris sells Wi-Fi-capable set-top boxes to cable providers, among other products.