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Verizon gathers the pieces for its own answer to Netflix

Mark Sullivan | Nov. 5, 2013
Verizon might be assembling a way to deliver broadband TV service wirelessly to homes all across America using its 4G LTE network. Let's connect some dots.

Verizon's LTE service can be delivered to homes, too.

Verizon has also demonstrated a keen interest in using its 4G LTE network to supply home broadband service. The company quietly began testing the service, called HomeFusion, last year, and later announced that the service is available nationwide. However, I can't get it at my address in San Francisco.

A brief chat with a Verizon sales rep revealed that the service is available in most major markets, but just not at every address in those markets. The rep said Verizon began selling the service over the phone only six weeks ago, although it's been available in stores since last year.

Verizon says HomeFusion will deliver speeds of 5 to 12 megabits per second (mbps) for downloads, but customers are routinely seeing speeds up to 20 mbps. Those speeds are competitive with DSL service, and certainly fast enough to deliver an OTT video service, like, say, OnCue.

With its LTE network servicing homes, and a branded Verizon Internet service running over it, Verizon owns both the delivery pipe and the content. That's something that Netflix and Amazon can't claim--they are at the mercy of the big ISPs to deliver their video services.

In the Verizon household of the future, you'd have a small black receiver box somewhere in the house that catches the LTE signal, then turns it into a home Wi-Fi network that can connect up to 20 devices. One of those devices could be the smart TV in your living room. That's just one small network box, no wires, and no set-top box. You'd pay for your video service on the same bill with your home and mobile phones and your broadband service.

I'm not going to guess the price of this tidy little bundle, but the video part of it, at least, would very likely be less expensive than Comcast or DirecTV.


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