Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is reportedly planning to use its 4G LTE mobile wireless network to deliver cable TV programming within a year.
Spokesman Jim Gerace told Radio and Television Business Report that "no one has a wireless network better positioned to do this than we do."
While Verizon maintains it can do video over wireless with its existing network, things will improve noticeably if the carrier gets a big share of broadcast spectrum being put up for auction later this year.
Video over mobile wireless is no pipe dream for Verizon, which could see some serious competition in that space if AT&T (NYSE: T) succeeds in acquiring DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) and cable operators continue to enhance video data options for their growing number of nationwide Wi-Fi hotspots.
"To do over-the-top you have to have a rich spectrum portfolio," broadband analyst Scott McClelland told the publication. "By year's end, America's four national wireless broadband ISPs will be offering speeds capable of supporting new over-the-top streaming services nearly ubiquitously."
The trick will be getting content, and Verizon has a leg up there, too, with its FiOS TV service.
Verizon CFO Fran Shammo hinted at a video play during a presentation at the recent Oppenheimer Investor Conference, noting especially the "huge runway for tablets" that would be a logical screen for wireless video.
"Multicast is a few years out … that's the pivotal start to change the way content is delivered on the mobile handset," Shammo said in remarks covered by Wireless Week.
On the other hand, the network appears to be ready.
"We engineer for a consistent 8-12 Mbps. We think that the quality of the network is going to be even more important in the data environment than it was in the voice environment," he concluded.
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