Competition and collaboration heat up as mobile and cable worlds collide

Fixed-line cable and broadband companies are beginning to dip their toes into mobile, while wireless service providers are gradually expanding into media. AT&T, for instance, acquired DirecTV and then launched unlimited data to users who subscribed to both mobile and video services, and Verizon is rapidly building out its Go90 offering. Meanwhile, Cablevision is hoping to gain traction with its Freewheel smartphone service, and Google's Project Fi may someday threaten traditional mobile carriers with its Wi-Fi-first model.

The lines between service providers will likely blur even more following the incentive auction of 600 MHz spectrum, in which Comcast and other cable operators are expected to come away with some valuable airwaves. But while competition may be heating up between the two industries, collaboration is also increasing, with cable companies hosting small cells on their utility poles and MVNO partnerships being developed between TV providers and wireless carriers. The confluence of cable companies and mobile carriers will be turbulent, to be sure, but it will almost certainly benefit consumers in the long run.

For more on this topic, check out this article from Joe Madden at Mobile Experts.