Surfing the web while on the move has become a reality thanks to mobile internet over 3G or LTE. However despite yearly advancements in its technology, the reliability of mobile networks remains lackluster.
A solution to ubiquitous connectivity has come in the form of blanketing various cities with wireless hotspots. For example, in Singapore the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) have initiated the Wireless@SG program which aims to provide wireless hotspots all across the island.
In a similar vein, a group of US cable companies have come together to provide their customers with access to each others wireless hotspots. Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications, and Time Warner Cable have over 50,000 hotspots in various locations around the US, and soon these will all be accessible to customers of any of those five companies using the "CableWiFi" network name. Bright House Networks is the first company to roll-out the "CableWifi" hotspot, alongside its own network, in New York City and Florida. The remaining four companies will be adding the CableWiFi name to their existing networks in the next few months.
Users can connect to a "CableWiFi" network with the same username and password used when accessing their providers' own wireless networks. In the future users will be automatically connected to "CableWiFi" hotspots when in range.
Once the roll-out is complete, there will be over 50,000 hotspots available across the US in New York, Los Angeles, Tampa, Orlando, and Philadelphia. To find out more information about the location of the hotspots, head to www.cablewifi.com.
Not only will this initiative be great for users who don't wish to use mobile internet or who only have WiFi on their device, CableWiFi should dramatically decrease the load borne by mobile networks across the US.
Check out CableWiFi's press release below for more details:
Major U.S. Cable Companies Join Forces on WiFi
Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable Will Share Access to over 50,000 Hotspots, Expand WiFi Availability and Simplify Access for their High Speed Internet Customers
BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable today announce that they will enable each other’s high-speed Internet customers to access their metro WiFi networks, totaling over 50,000 hotspots. To simplify access, a new network name, “CableWiFi”, has been created for subscribers to use when accessing the WiFi hotspots outside their home market. The first implementation is already complete as Bright House Networks and Cablevision launched “CableWiFi” alongside their branded WiFi networks in the New York City area and central Florida earlier this month. Over the next few months, the “CableWiFi” network name will be added by each of the cable companies to their branded WiFi hotspots.
“This effort adds great value to our high speed Internet customers by providing free wireless Internet access on all of their WiFi enabled devices in our markets and additional areas across the country,” said Nomi Bergman, President of Bright House Networks.
“We believe that WiFi is a superior approach to mobile data, and that cable providers are best positioned to build the highest-capacity national network offering customers fast and reliable Internet connections when away from their home or business broadband service,” said Kristin Dolan, Cablevision’s senior executive vice president of product management and marketing. “We’ve built an extensive WiFi network in our own service area, and see real value and potential in other leading providers joining with us to extend that connectivity to major markets across the country.”
Dave Watson, Chief Operating Officer of Comcast Cable added, “Mobility is an increasingly important part of our Xfinity services product roadmap. WiFi technology, coupled with our agreements with Verizon Wireless, are two significant ways we are executing on our strategy to deliver the best in- and out-of-home communications experience for our customers.”
“The way customers are using our service continues to evolve,” said Jill Campbell, Cox Communications COO. “This is a new area of opportunity that we need to explore.”
“We have long been the leading providers of high-speed internet services in our customers’ homes. Through our rollout of WiFi and the benefits of this collaboration we greatly increase the value and reach of our high-speed internet service, providing access to broadband outside the home and in cities across the country,” said Rob Marcus, President and COO of Time Warner Cable.
When traveling outside their home markets, high-speed Internet subscribers of the participating companies will look for the “CableWiFi” network and through a simple sign-on process connect using the same credentials as when accessing their providers’ WiFi networks. In the coming months, users will be able to have their devices auto-connect to the Internet when located in any of the “Cable WiFi” hotspots.
The participating cable operators currently offer more than 50,000 WiFi hotspots located in New York City and the surrounding Tri-State area, Los Angeles, Tampa, Orlando, and Philadelphia. The operators plan to continue to grow the number of WiFi hotspots and expand into several additional cities. The network has both indoor and outdoor WiFi hotspots located in popular, high traffic locations, such as shopping districts, cafes, malls, arenas, restaurants, parks and beaches. Subscribers will be able to find the nearest WiFi hotspots by visiting the WiFi homepage of their current cable provider or going to www.cablewifi.com
This is the largest and most inclusive WiFi sharing effort among cable operators to date. In early 2010, Cablevision, Comcast and Time Warner Cable entered into an agreement allowing their customers in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Connecticut to access WiFi hotspots offered by each operator in these areas.