Wi-Fi - Top cable technologies in 2013

Tools

Cable operators are expanding Wi-Fi networks in major markets nationwide, using free Wi-Fi access as a tool to market high-speed Internet service to subscribers.

Time Warner Cable announced earlier this month that it would double its number of Wi-Fi hotspots in 2013. The nation's second largest cable MSO ended 2012 with about 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots.

Cablevision has been the most aggressive cable MSO, using Wi-Fi to battle Verizon's FiOS products in the New York metropolitan area. Cablevision now counts about 70,000 indoor and outdoor hotspots, and it also plans to extend its network to trains.

Wi-Fi has become a big area of growth for technology vendors such as Cisco, which supplies Wi-Fi hardware and software to Cablevision, and Ruckus Wireless, which supplied Time Warner Cable with gear for its Wi-Fi deployment in the Los Angeles area. Cisco said it is also seeing significant growth from Wi-Fi, reporting earlier this month that it doubled Wi-Fi revenue from service providers in the fourth quarter.