Taking aim at the cable industry’s suddenly vulnerable broadband CPE revenue streams, Linksys debuted its first retail combo cable modem and Wi-Fi router.
The $199.97 AC1900 Dual-Band Cable Modem Router combines a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, capable of bonding 24 downstream channels and eight upstream channels, with a 802.11ac Wi-Fi and six antennas. The device is capable of handling download speeds up to 300 Mbps. And perhaps most notable is it’s compatible with both Charter’s Spectrum and Comcast’s Xfinity broadband services.
According to SNL Kagan, up to 15% of DOCSIS-capable modems are now purchased at retail, and leading cable companies are taking notice. Comcast, for example, formally rolled out its xFi service earlier this week—a free feature that lets users monitor and modulate their home Wi-Fi networks via smartphones. The service is available only to customers who pay Comcast $8 a month to lease an XBR3 gateway.
“We think xFi is one more reason to lease a gateway from us,” Eric Schaefer, senior VP and GM of communications, data and mobility for Comcast, told FierceCable.
"Combining the Wi-Fi router with a cable modem as a single solution helps consumers declutter their home environments while eliminating extra hardware rental costs charged by most cable companies," said Brian Nickell, product manager at Linksys, in a statement. "Our entrance into the gateway market shows our commitment in providing consumers with high performance cable products combined with the latest wireless technology to deliver the ultimate Wi-Fi experience throughout the home.”