Verizon's spectrum deal with cable companies has myriad of implications

editor's corner

Verizon is buying up AWS spectrum owned by cable MSOs Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Brighthouse, but the most interesting piece of the deal is the fact that Verizon took advantage of these companies' dismal experience with selling wireless services and vowed to help these players--some of which are Verizon competitors--become successful in the wireless arena.

Specifically, the MSOs and Verizons have entered into a series of agreements that include selling each other's products and services and the creation of an innovation technology joint venture that focuses on developing technology to better integrate wireless and wireline technologies.

The implications of such a deal appear endless, but it also highlights the fact that Verizon views LTE as the future of broadband. On more than one occasion Verizon executives have talked up continuous broadband coverage--the ability to seamlessly bridge an LTE connection with a home broadband connection. They've also talked up the fact that LTE can serve as a DSL replacement in harder to serve areas, giving customers both a mobile and fixed experience--which is one of the reasons why it is gobbling up the AWS spectrum.

There's no doubt that the cable companies had to make a move to improve their wireless position. They desperately want to integrate wireless in their offerings, but have failed miserably at selling Clearwire's WiMAX services. They have ended up with a me-too offering. The key, which this deal with Verizon should fulfill, is providing an integrated service. This is especially important in the video realm, where giving end users the ability to watch programming on a variety of devices is seen as the Holy Grail.--Lynnette