Time Warner Cable: Hotspot 2.0 Wi-Fi provides a 'complementary offering' to cellular

Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) thinks of Hotspot 2.0 Wi-Fi access points as "complementary" to a cellular contract, but not likely as a replacement, according to CEO Rob Marcus. Hotspot 2.0, Marcus said in prepared remarks during an analyst conference, "will make our ever-expanding Wi-Fi network more secure and even easier to use." It also "makes our HSD (high-speed data) product more valuable," he added later.

Earlier this month TWC confirmed its rollout out of "TWCWiFi-Passpoint," a national Wi-Fi network that includes Hotspot 2.0 technology on most of its public access points as well as upgraded encryption.

The large-scale deployment of Hotspot 2.0 represents a significant boost for the technology, which has been slow to take off despite the attractiveness of enabling seamless roaming between Wi-Fi networks. Hotspot 2.0 also enables seamless data roaming between Wi-Fi hotspots and cellular networks.

Marcus emphasized that the company's focus on Wi-Fi access points is not an indication it wants to build or operate a cellular network of its own. "We've long said that we thought that the deployment of Wi-Fi access points was a significant value-add for our HSD customers. In particular, our strategy has focused on public Wi-Fi access points, not necessarily in the home or in a particular business," Marcus said. These access points, he added, replace "some elements of a mobile network (and) that continues to be a tremendous value-add." Article