Comcast, Charter and cable’s uncertain wireless future

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[Commentary] With continually expanding Wi-Fi footprints and enough backhaul to choke a horse, Comcast and Charter could finally succeed where past cable efforts to break into wireless failed. And there’s good reason to be excited about that opportunity. As Shaw CTO Zoran Stakic put it, since his company was able to acquire Wind Mobile in Canada, he’s been in disbelief at how powerful a combination it is once a company can offer broadband, Wi-Fi and LTE. “I think we’ll be able to deliver solutions for our customers that we didn’t think were possible a few years ago,” said Stakic. And Nair offered a glowing review of the full mobile virtual network operator deals that Liberty Global has been able to do, which have given the multiple-system operators the flexibility to control its own SIM and switch wholesalers should the need arise because of price changes.

But perhaps the most hopeful sign for cable operators looking toward wireless is that, as wireless network architecture is shifting away from the macro tower paradigm and toward smaller, denser infrastructure schemes, telecommunication company and cable nodes are getting closer and closer to one another in the network. Options abound for cable companies seeking that wireless service piece that will help augment their video and broadband strategies as well as help them gain foothold in emerging markets like the Internet of Things. Now it’s up to the likes of Comcast and Charter to choose the right path to make sure another wireless flop doesn’t lie in cable’s future.


Comcast, Charter and cable’s uncertain wireless future