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Mobile Broadband Strategies

TWC Rolls Out First Nationwide Hotspot 2.0 Network in the US

Daily Insight | Ken Rehbehn | April 17, 2014

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Time Warner Cable (TWC) announced its nationwide Hotspot 2.0 network is officially up and running, making it the first large-scale implementation of the Wi-Fi-based technology in the U.S.
 
GigaOm reports that while Boingo has offered Hotspot 2.0 since February in 21 airports across the country, TWC is the first to offer the cellular-grade service nationwide. TWC’s 33,000-node Hotspot 2.0 network is concentrated in key markets in its cable territory, including Southern California; New York City; Austin, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; Kansas City; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Hawaii. The network gives TWC’s cable customers broadband connectivity outside the home without having to first search for a hotspot and then login to a portal. Instead, customers with Passpoint-certified devices can automatically discover and log onto the network, significantly streamlining the process. Plus, the Hotspot 2.0 technology uses WPA2 encryption, making it as secure as a home Wi-Fi network. 
 
Yankee Group Principal Analyst Ken Rehbehn comments
 
“TWC's nationwide Hotspot 2.0 deployment is important because it represents the first large-scale availability of important new features, bringing automatic login over a secure Wi-Fi connection in a service provider network. Beyond the security features delivered by the combination of standards embraced as Hotspot 2.0, the standards also enable easy roaming with partner networks using capabilities specified in the Wireless Broadband Alliance. Seamless and secure access to TWC’s hotspots—as well as partner locations—helps beef up the broadband Internet offer from the cable operator. For end-users, this provides another tool to manage mobile broadband data costs in an era with tiered usage charges. For the Wi-Fi ecosystem, TWC's move is important because it adds to the network effect of Hotspot 2.0: The more hotspots supporting Hotspot 2.0, the more valuable this Wi-Fi service becomes.”
 
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