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AT&T's WiFi STB gets green light from the FCC

2011-03-08 15:38 by
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AT&T's desire to get around bad wireline connections in the home network took another step forward as the FCC approved its Cisco ISB7005 AT&T U-Verse WiFi-capable set top box (STB).

Although there have been reports of AT&T trialing other WiFi platforms, including Ruckus, to distribute video throughout the home, AT&T has been an advocate of using HPNA to carry signals over existing coax and phone wiring.

Stephen Froehlich, a senior analyst with IMS Research's Consumer Electronics group, said in a research note that the competitive advantage that AT&T is touting to have over satellite and cable is that the Cisco router leverages a simplified chipset design from Broadcom that can more efficiently compress video streams.

"U-Verse's comparatively low HD video bitrates are allowing them to use a relatively inexpensive 2x2 dual-band 802.11n WiFi radio based on the BRCM4717 for this application," he said, adding that "AT&T can use such a simple design because its HD video is encoded at approximately 5 Mbps compared to 5-8 Mbps for HDTV over satellite and 16 Mbps for HDTV over cable."

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