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Verizon challenges cable MSOs, AT&T with HomeFusion wireless broadband service

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Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) could challenge Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR), AT&T (NYSE: T) and other broadband providers with a new HomeFusion wireless broadband service that will rely on large antennas attached to homes to deliver high-speed Internet access from its 4G LTE Network.

HomeFusion LTE antenna

HomeFusion LTE antenna

The telco will launch HomeFusion later this month in Dallas, Texas, where Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), Grande Communications and AT&T serve parts of the market. It will also sell Home Fusion in Birmingham, Ala., where Charter and AT&T market high-speed Internet access, and Nashville, Tenn., where it could compete with Comcast and AT&T.

Verizon could expand its subscriber base by pitching HomeFusion to subscribers in rural areas who don't have access to DSL or cable modem service. The FCC has been pressuring incumbent telcos and cable operators to expand their networks to rural homes.

But the costs of HomeFusion and its bulky antenna may turn off some potential customers. Verizon is charging a $200 installation fee for a HomeFusion antenna, which resembles a small, dark gray garbage can that has been turned upside down. The telco says the antenna is the size of a 5-gallon bucket. Pricing for HomeFusion data plans begins at $60 monthly for 10 GB of data.

"HomeFusion will eventually be available across our 4G LTE footprint, which is expected to match our 3G footprint in 2013," Verizon spokeswoman Debra Lewis told FierceCable. "It's another option for customers who have either limited broadband options or want to use 4G LTE for broadband to the home," she added.

For more:
- see the news release

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