CableLabs LTE Inventions Could Power Comcast Mobile Service

CableLabs inventors Jennifer Andreoli-Fang, Alberto Campos, Alireza Babaei, Belal Hamzeh and Yimin Pang are named on the patent applications.

Less than 24 hours after Comcast executives told analysts that it may participate in an upcoming broadband wireless spectrum auction, The Donohue Report obtained four patent applications that indicate CableLabs is helping the nation’s largest cable MSO develop technology that could allow it to offer new services through a network architecture that combines LTE and Wi-Fi.

Four CableLabs patent applications that appeared in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office database on Thursday focus on ways that service providers such as Comcast could introduce LTE services without interfering with existing Wi-Fi services.

“Systems and methods presented herein provide for altering communications of a LTE wireless communication system operating in an RF band with a conflicting WiFi system,” CableLabs states in one of the patent applications published today.

Inventors named on the patent applications include CableLabs Director of Technologies Belal Hamzeh, Principal Architect Jennifer Andreoli-Fang, former Lead Wireless Architect Alireza Babaei, Distinguished Technologist Alberto Campos and Research Assistant Yimin Pang.

Comcast CFO Mike Cavanagh and CEO Brian Roberts told analysts on Comcast’s fourth-quarter earnings call on Wednesday that Comcast recently filed paperwork at the FCC that will allow it to place bids in a wireless broadband auction that the FCC plans to kick off on March 29.

“We’re going to take a paddle on the auction, which means we’re going to evaluate, consider and may purchase, but only if we think the price is right after we do our evaluation of what’s available,” Cavanagh said Wednesday.

Comcast already operates 13.3 million Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide, and it has installed Wi-Fi gateways in many Xfinity homes that are capable of powering neighborhood hotspots.

And as part of the $3.6 billion deal that Comcast and its SpectrumCo partners struck with Verizon in December 2011, Comcast obtained the right to sign an an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) agreement with Verizon that could allow it to use the telco’s LTE network.

Comcast, the nation’s largest cable MSO, is also the largest financial backer of the CableLabs technology consortium. Comcast CTO Tony Werner sits on the CableLabs board of directors as chairman of its Tech Committee.

For more, see these CableLabs patent applications:

LTE Control channel Reservation In RF Bands With Competing Communication Systems
Downlink Power Control For Interference Mitigation In Competing Communication System
LTE Signaling In RF Bands With Competing Communication Systems
Systems And Methods For Providing Resilience To LTE Signaling Interference In Wi-Fi

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