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Cablevision, CableLabs team up on Wi-Fi app

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 12:24pm
Mike Robuck

CableLabs announced this morning that its Wi-Fi app, which it developed in conjunction with Cablevision and other member companies, has been licensed to mPortal in order to make the app more readily available to the cable industry.

The CableLabs Wi-Fi app software includes Wi-Fi detection in order to help subscribers find the best Wi-Fi hotspot from their current locations. The app also features mapping of Wi-Fi locations and the ability to view details on the performance level and quality of a Wi-Fi access point. There’s also Wi-Fi testing to help determine the quality of experience (QoE) and the available bandwidth of the customer’s current Wi-Fi service.

Wi-Fi location apps aren’t new to the cable industry. Cablevision rolled out a version for iOS devices last year while Time Warner Cable partnered with mPortal early last year to provision its My TWC mobile gateway

"As a leader in cable Wi-Fi deployments, Cablevision partnered with CableLabs to co-innovate application technologies that measure and improve our customers' experience on the Optimum WiFi network," said Timothy Farrell, Cablevision's vice president of broadband product management. "Cablevision continues to expand our Optimum WiFi network, and delivering the best quality customer experience is our number one priority. We have been working with CableLabs since 2011 to co-develop software that helps our customers obtain better connectivity when using Optimum WiFi. We believe this software will improve the cable Wi-Fi offering, and we are pleased to share it with other CableLabs members."

When it comes to Wi-Fi, Cablevision has been the most ambitious cable operator. The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator currently has more than 70,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in its footprint, with plans in the works to add Wi-Fi to commuter trains in the tri-state New York area.

With the licensing agreement, mPortal will package the application technology in conjunction with its Wi-Fi product suite, enabling the software vendor to provide cable operators the ability to help their customers find the best Wi-Fi access point near them, improving customer satisfaction and balancing Wi-Fi access point usage.

"Through this co-innovated application technology, we aim to improve the quality of experience subscribers have on Wi-Fi networks operated by cable operators," said Phil McKinney, president and chief executive officer of CableLabs. "We worked with Cablevision as our co-development partner on this, and the team has now successfully transferred the project to vendors for further product commercialization. We are determined to assist our members to be the Wi-Fi service provider of choice in their markets."

Wi-Fi services are playing an increasingly key role with cable operators. The services can help reduce customer churn and are less expensive to deploy than cellular networks. At last year’s Cable Show, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cox Communications, Cablevision and Bright House Networks announced a roaming agreement that allowed their subscribers to use each other’s Wi-Fi hotspots.  

 

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