Ziggo, one of the two major cable(TV) companies in our country The Netherlands, has done something clever.
The cablemodems they shipped to and installed in their clients homes (more than 2 million of our total of 7 million homes) which offer triple play (telephony, TV analog and digital, internet up to 150 Mbps asymmetric) had 2 different Wi-Fi sets built in. One for the internet access subscribers within the home and one for outside the home, in building for on the street outside. After a successful test in the city of Groningen, these “external” wi-fi sets are now are now activated and accessible for other people for mobile use, unrestricted and without extra costs, if they themselves are Ziggo cablemodem internet clients, estimated about 1 million locations in cities and villages.
Cable network penetration is high in NL and Belgium. So even without a 4G (LTE) licence defacto Ziggo opened a mobile network for its own clients. This fits very well with my published techno-market trend in the direction of small cells (and metrocells) between macrocells and inhouse Wi-Fi, needed to cope with the traffic growth of internet access of smartphones and tablets. see http://www.slideshare.net/JaapvanTill/nf-ospec-mob-datajvt (in Dutch language). Offloading 3G and 4G with Wi-Fi will be necessary because the amount of basestations needed for full deployment of 4G would be too timeconsuming and costly. So the road ahead is 4G mobile AND Wi-Fi. Our incumbent telco KPN has announced that they will, for offloading G4, cooperate with FON subscribers , who open their home Wi-Fi access points to eachother (P2P sharing!!).
Yes all these homes will need FttH sooner or later. The optic fiber cables of Ziggo are not far from the homes either. ‘Small cell mobile’ AND FttH is the way ahead.
Jaap van Till, connectivist