Time Warner Cable taps WeFi for additional Wi-Fi hotspots

Time Warner Cable is using technology from Israeli-American startup WeFi to give its customers access to more free Wi-Fi hotspots that don't require passwords.

WeFi offers a carrier-grade Wi-Fi connectivity and offloading solution called WeANDSF that allows operators to control where, when and under what circumstances their subscribers use public and private Wi-Fi networks. WeANDSF stands for WeFi Enhanced Access Network Discovery and Selection Function, a standard designed to merge Wi-Fi and cellular networks.

The solution builds on Time Warner's decision earlier this year to band together with other leading MSOs to create a nationwide Wi-Fi roaming network of more than 50,000 hotspots. Comcast, Time Warner, Cablevision, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks created the CableWiFi network, and WeFi's technology will help Time Warner manage how its customers use that network. Additionally, it will give Time Warner customers access to many more public Wi-Fi hotspots--though it is unclear how many more.

David Fishman, WeFi's vice president of marketing, told GigaOM that while the company is not revealing how many more public Wi-Fi hotspots it is adding to Time Warner's footprint, there are a potential 10 million free hotspots in the U.S. that could eventually be included. WeFi's overall database includes 140 million hotspots.

"WeFi analyzes massive amounts of real-time data on Wi-Fi hotspot locations and conditions and gives TWC real-time feedback on the quality of the Wi-Fi networks," Mike Roudi, Time Warner Cable's senior vice president of corporate development, said in a statement. "This data is crucial for TWC Wi-Fi to deliver the best possible mobile Internet service."

TWC's deal with WeFi comes amid rising interest in Wi-Fi vendors. Last month Cisco Systems said it would buy Wi-Fi and cloud networking vendor Meraki for $1.2 billion, which came on the heels of Cisco snapping up Ireland's ThinkSmart Technologies, a Wi-Fi location analytics company.

For more:
- see this release
- see this GigaOM article
- see this Multichannel News article

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