Cable Carrier Wi-Fi: MSO Take MNO Market Share

Published: May 2015   Pages: 28
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How does a cable provider gain a bigger piece of the telecom market pie chart? With a clever Wi-Fi strategy, cable providers are in a unique position to dominate the residential and business telecommunications markets.

Cable giant Cablevision plans to take on cellular providers with an all-Wi-Fi mobile phone service, the company calls Freewheel, the Wi-Fi-only service allows subscribers to place voice calls, send text messages and surf the Web when they're connected to any Wi-Fi network. In contrast to other VoWiFi providers such as Google’s Project Fi, Republic and Scratch, Freewheel will have no access to cellular networks. This is the portent of things to come in the very near future: an MSO as MNO play.

Target Audience:

  • Regulatory and Policy Groups
  • Exporters, Importers and Traders
  • Business and Financial Institutions
  • Associations and Technology Groups
  • Corporate and Institutional Investors
  • Government and International Bodies
  • Lawyers, Bankers, Libraries, Embassies
  • Patent Offices and Technology Executives
  • Venture Capitalists, Consultants and more
  • Management Consulting and Advisory Firms

Table of Contents:

1.0 Executive Summary 7
2.0 Introduction: Drivers for Wi-Fi for Cable Providers 9
How can MSOs get MNO market share? 9
Technology: Disruptive threat of MSOs to MNOs 10
Wi-Fi as 5G Solution 10
Technology: Shift or Be Shifted 11
The World of Telecommunications Is Now Flat: Any Provider Can Sell Any Service to Any Subscriber on Any Physical Layer 12
Content is no longer king, connectivity is 13
Cable Carrier Wi-Fi as Disruptor or Wi-Fi Is Just About Everywhere We Are 14
3.0 Comcast xfinity’s Wi-Fi Path: MSO as MNO via Wi-Fi Everywhere Strategy 15
Low Marginal Cost of Taking the Access Point Outdoors: Leveraging Overhead Assets, Pole Rights, Customer Premise Equipment (Access Points) 16
4.0 Cablevision: Freewheel as Path to MNO via VoWiFi as Cellular substitute 18
Highly Disruptive: Cheaper, Simpler, Smaller, More Convenient to Use 19
Alternative to Mobile: Costs, Speeds, Coverage, Data Caps 20
Displacing DSL 20
Google Project Fi 21
Summary 23
5.0 LTE-U: Shortcut MSO to MNO 24
What is LTE-U? 24
Disruptive Threat to MNOs by MSOs 24
6.0 Conclusions: MSOs to Potentially Disrupt MNOs on a Massive Scale 25
What is the market appeal for a $100+/month premium cellular service (Example: AT&T, Verizon)? 25
What is the market for a $29/month cable Wi-Fi-based service (Cablevision’s Freewheel)? 25
Winners 26
Losers 26


Figure 1: The Telecom Market Pie Chart: How can MOs Achieve Total Market Domination? Answer: Wi-Fi 7
Figure 2: IP Revolution: Vertical to Horizontal Shift in Architecture enables Quadruple Play for MSOs 12
Figure 3: Author's Unused Set Top Box. Netflix, HBO GO streamed via Cable Modem over Wi-Fi provides More Content than can be Consumed 13
Figure 4: Claims by xfinity Wi-Fi coverage vs. Sprint's 4G Coverage (CO). 15
Figure 5: Author's test of xfinity Wi-Fi Service Indoors vs. Outdoors at his Residence. Wi-Fi does not Penetrate 1-foot thick walls. Wi-Fi APs Need to be Placed Outdoors. 15
Figure 6: Cable Tap Outside Author's Home. Placing a Wi-Fi AP here would offer Wi-Fi Service on a par with Small Cell Technology in Performance and Coverage. Comcast has Existing Infrastructure to Support this Configuration. 16
Figure 7: The “80/80 rule”: Americans spend 80% of their Time in a Wi-Fi Zone and 80% of Smartphone Data comes from Wi-Fi 19
Figure 8: Competitive Comparison: Freewheel vs. Mobile Plans 20
Figure 9: Comparison Landline Telephone Service and Freewheel 21


Table 1: Over Six Times as many Cellular Subscribers as Cable. Wi-Fi enables MSOs to be MNOs 9
Table 2: Deployment of hotspots by MSOs and MNOs 2012 - 2018 14



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