Analyst: 'Disruptive Wi-Fi/MVNO' products coming from cable companies in 2014

The nation's top cable companies will soon begin using widespread Wi-Fi networks and new roaming technologies to disrupt the current wireless marketplace, predicted one Wall Street analyst. Jefferies analyst Thomas Seitz wrote in a recent research note that "We believe the inexorable current below the surface is that cable will enter the wireless market in a disruptive, Wi-Fi/MVNO [Mobile Virtual Network Operator] manner in the foreseeable future." Specifically, Seitz pointed to the new CableWiFi consortium, which includes Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Bright House Networks and Cablevision, that has so far built a total of 150,000 public hotspots. Seitz also pointed to Comcast's recent announcement that it will use wireless gateways in subscribers' homes to offer neighborhood hotspots. These efforts, coupled with Passpoint Hotspot 2.0 technology that supports cellular-Wi-Fi roaming, could allow cable companies to cut into a wireless industry currently dominated by the likes of AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) as early as next year. "Cable, with its dense, population-centric, networks is ideally suited to provision Wi-Fi where the wireless data is consumed," Seitz wrote. Article