How wireless might eat cable's lunch - and how cable can stop it

Mike Dano

There is clear battle brewing between the wireless industry and the cable industry. AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and the rest of the nation's top wireless carriers are increasingly developing products and services that stand as a direct challenge to cable operators like Comcast and Charter Communications.

Specifically, these wireless network operators are in the early stages of testing and deploying 5G networks that could offer speeds comparable -- or even faster -- than today's cable internet options. At the same time, operators like Verizon and AT&T are pushing into the video market with offerings such as Go90 and DirecTV Now that could siphon customers off of pay-TV offerings.

Such actions are doubtlessly causing headaches in the cable industry.

Conversely, though, some of the strategies from the nation's top cable operators could upend the progress of these wireless players. Public Wi-Fi hotspots, MVNO deals and the upcoming 600 MHz incentive auction all could give the nation's top cable operators a powerful lever against the rise of mobile video and 5G.

And hanging in the balance is the potential for some major M&A, like an acquisition of T-Mobile by Altice.

These are exactly the topics FierceWireless, FierceTelecom and FierceCable will delve into on Monday, May 16, in Boston in conjunction with the INXT show there. From 7:15 a.m. to 11 a.m. we are going to bring together top executives from both cable and wireless to talk about the intersection of these two giant industries in order to highlight the areas for collaboration -- and for conflict. Sign up now to hear from:

  • Karri Kuoppamaki, VP, Network Technology Development and Strategy, T-Mobile, US
  • Vito Forlenza, Senior Director, TV Everywhere Content & Product Strategy, Comcast Cable
  • Ben Weinberger, Senior Vice President & Chief Product Officer, Sling TV
  • Stephen Bye, Chief Technology Officer, C Spire
  • Adam Saenger, Vice President, Global Product Development & Management, Level 3
  • Belal Hamzeh, Vice President, Wireless Technologies, CableLabs
  • And more!

We're going to break the morning discussion into three key sessions -- 5G, Mobile Video and SDN/NFV -- that get directly to the heart of the cable vs. wireless question. And to be clear, this event won't include sluggish PowerPoint presentations or watered-down corporate speak. Fierce editors Daniel Frankel, Sean Buckley and I will be asking the tough questions.

And, perhaps most importantly, you'll be able to join in. We will definitely take questions from the audience, so you'll be able to speak directly to our lineup of top-level speakers.

Oh, and we're offering a hearty breakfast too. So sign up now by clicking on this link! I look forward to seeing you in Boston. --Mike | @mikeddano

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