Wireless service is at a point where people have more choices than ever before when looking for a carrier that suits their needs. There are the four major carriers here in the U.S. and then a handful of MVNO’s that work off of their coverage as well, and a number of different smaller and more regional carriers. Then of course there’s the now confirmed Google wireless service which is rumored to be launching sometime in March, but also now rumored to be compatible only with the Nexus 6. There have also been rumors that cable companies could be setting up to build their own wireless service to offer to customers, and they appear to be in a prime position to get things started.
Not too unlike the way Google is said to be planning their wireless service, a wireless service from cable companies would work mostly off of WiFi hotspots to give customers coverage. This is actually how things work with the recently launched wireless service available in the New York City from Cablevision, except customers only have access when connected to WiFi, as there is no cell network(LTE, 3G, or 3G)to fall back on. This is where cable companies would have a unique opportunity to launch their own service, as all they would need to do is build a thin layer of LTE over the WiFi to back up customers when the WiFi isn’t available. Since cable companies own a majority of the WiFi hotspots around the country, building out the network to cover potential dead zones that are WiFi free may not cost as much as it once did, as they might only have to rent out towers from other companies who already own them, and it would make for a stronger and more reliable coverage range for anyone who would sign up on those networks.
There has been more talk about using some of the unlicensed LTE spectrum that is available for cellular networks and this is part of how cable companies could utilize LTE to offer coverage where WiFi isn’t available. Unlicensed LTE would of course run on the same band as WiFi which has been a concern in the past, but with more talks happening about the use of unlicensed LTE for wireless the likelihood for cable companies to use it isn’t impossible. While some of this seems like a good idea for the cable companies to implement their own wireless service, there is no telling whether or not they have plans to do so.