Market Insight

Verizon to launch 802.11ac router with 300Mbps Wi-Fi

May 20, 2014

John Kendall John Kendall Associate Director, Research and Analysis, Service Provider Technology

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Verizon plans to deploy a proprietary router that will support in-home Wi-Fi speeds up to 300Mbps. This router will ship in summer 2013 and will complement the Quantum internet service offered on Verizon FiOS with speeds up to 300Mbps.

Our Take

The launch of a new router that can support up to 300Mbps on the home Wi-Fi network is a signal of Verizon transitioning to 802.11ac technology. It is also an acknowledgement that the last mile is no longer the bottleneck for IP traffic, but is rather the routing of traffic around the household. Along with the VMS1100 Verizon Media Server, this deployment will mark another step for Verizon’s transition to an all-IP in-home distribution model. The VMS Multimedia Home Gateway (MHG) uses MoCA to distribute the video around the home to televisions using IP thin clients.

However, televisions are no longer the only screens in the home. The number of devices capable of video consumption, such as smart phones and tablets, has ballooned over the past couple of years, and the demand for high quality of service to deliver video to these devices has commensurately increased as well. These devices are served not with wireline infrastructure, but the in-home Wi-Fi. Many of the latest iterations of these devices are shipping with 802.11ac capability, so it would naturally follow that broadband providers deploy CPE with this next generation Wi-Fi to serve customer demand for content distribution to these secondary screens in the house. This enables the delivery of the highest possible quality of experience for the end-user.

This reflects the greater market trend of Internet Service Providers in mature broadband markets migrating their consumer premise equipment to the 802.11ac specification throughout 2014. Dual band 802.11ac provides that higher quality of experience for consumers on their home Wi-Fi network to transmit high quality video to screens throughout the home, offering greater throughput so as to mitigate any network congestion or degradation of quality of service.

It signals that Pay TV operators and Internet service providers are not overlooking the potential for over-the-top type content delivery, as illustrated by Verizon’s own Digital Media Services, which signals a readiness for next generation video delivery and not only a willingness to invest in the infrastructure to provide the bandwidth, but also the CPE to utilize it.

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