It’s interesting that at the opening general session of the cable industry’s big annual soiree, The Cable Show, moderator (and former FCC chairman) William Kennard’s second question focused on wireless strategy. His first was about broadband. It puts things into perspective. The cable industry has wireless in its sights, and its importance has never been higher. Joining Kennard on the panel were Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, Cox President Patrick Esser, Suddenlink CEO Jerald Kent, and Clearwire Chairman Craig McCaw.
All the panelists acknowledged that while wireless is important, it will by no means be easy. Thanks to the wireless “super elephants” Verizon and AT&T, “it’s going to be a tough road to hoe,” said Roberts. McCaw thinks they have the antidote. Clearwire intends to “… jump to where the market is going” by “stripping away the [current wireless industry’s] legacy nonsense.” Esser shares Roberts’ and McCaw’s view of wireless, saying it “keeps our product relevant,” but they’ve decided to chart their own path with 3G (and potentially LTE). Not all cable companies are drinking the wireless Kool Aid though. Kent says Suddenlink has a “wait and see” attitude about wireless.
What do you think? Does cable need wireless? Will they get it right this time? Share your view by using the comment tool below.