Time Warner Cable says it will double its Wi-Fi hotspot deployment by the end of 2013 from 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots last year. Time Warner Cable expects to spend nearly $17 million to roll out more than 20,000 Wi-Fi hotspot connections by the end of 2013.
Nearly three years ago, cable MSOs like TWC, Comcast, Cablevision, Bright House Networks and Cox Communications, entered into long-term agreements to share each others’ Wi-Fi hot spots in 50,000 public locations, thereby surpassing AT&T’s planned expansion of 30,000 Wi-Fi access points. AT&T Mobility announced its own hotzone thrust, expanding its WiFi hotzones into more areas of Chicago, New York and San Francisco to offload heavy 3G traffic.
Time Warner is deploying Ruckus in Los Angeles, site of its largest Wi-Fi deployment so far. In September, Time Warner Cable announced it was spending $15 million on its Wi-Fi network in Los Angeles. TW Cable is also using gear from BelAir Networks, now part of Ericsson, in L.A. and in an earlier Wi-Fi deployment in New York City.
TWC will deploy dual-band, outdoor, strand-mounted Wi-Fi access points that integrate a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem for backhauling Wi-Fi traffic over Time Warner Cable’s existing cable plant. It will provide WiFi for high-capacity indoor public venues, such as arenas. Ruckus uses an adaptive antenna array, which extends range, and ChannelFly, a feature that automates which channel an access point uses based on available capacity.
Ericsson added a pico base station with integrated wi-fi to its hetnet portfolio and bought BelAir Networks. Other WiFi competitors include HarborLink, Anyfi Networks, and Ruckus Wireless, which offers a beamforming WiFi solution offered by cable and wireless companies.
Ruckus and Towerstream have built out wholesale hotzones throughout New York City, San Francisco and Chicago in 2011 as well as Grand Central Terminal and Times Square, using TowerStream’s backhaul installed on nearby tall buildings.
With the development of 802.11n, one WiFi network can now hog ALL the available channels on the unlicensed 2.4 GHz band, effectively eliminating nearby “free” competition in a mall or other public place. Ruckus says beamforming is a solution.
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