Clearwire supplier Bridgewater Systems will be exhibiting at CableNET, the technology showcase at The Cable Show, May 11-13 in Los Angeles. (For more on CableNET, click here). Bridgewater provides subscriber authentication in the mobile space.

The company will show how cable operators can leverage their WiFi assets by onloading subscribers from congested 3G networks. Bridgewater’s products allow subscribers to log into their Internet accounts just once and then seamlessly switch to other services, whether that’s from their cable operator’s Internet network to its WiFi hot spots or among different providers’ networks based on service level agreements.

WiFi has been in the news lately, with announcements from Comcast and Time Warner Cable that they are partnering with Cablevision to share WiFi coverage areas. (For more, click here and here).

In New York City, there’s a lot of congestion on 3G cellular networks. By offering WiFi services to their Internet subscribers, cable operators are insinuating themselves into the wireless business where such competitors as Verizon and AT&T already are entrenched.

"I wouldn’t be surprised to see some agreements between cable operators and mobile operators," said Joanne Steinberg, director of marketing communications at Bridgewater Systems.

From the mobile operator’s perspective, offloading to WiFi could help with congestion. And, at least until next-generation wireless networks are in place, congestion will get worse as more mobile devices go online. Also, more WiFi-enabled devices are being shipped – think iPad. (For more on mobile WiFi devices, click here).

"We’re going to have to find ways to better balance traffic," said Steinberg. "The mobile networks are not designed for very heavy video apps. I think we’re going to see a lot of re-balancing of traffic. Our source software does that."

-Linda Hardesty

The Daily

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