Verizon Wireless, DirecTV advancing 4G-satellite mix

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) CEO Ivan Seidenberg's assertion that 4G could compete with cable as a residential video purveyor was met with the guffaws and condescension that cable last showered on the idea that telcos could deliver TV (and we all see where that's gone). Generally speaking, the idea was that 4G could never compete with cable's video play.

On the other hand, a quietly successful arrangement between Verizon Wireless and DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) could have a very major impact on cable because it would bring together a very competitive video provider with a broadband pipe. Right now the two companies are still trialing a service that equips homes with a satellite dish for DirecTV and a rooftop antenna for LTE and in-home wiring that connects to set-tops and the homes get LTE via a wireless router.

It's only a trial and it's only in a few homes in Erie, Penn., but it's got enough potential that the ever-present industry sources suggest it might get wider play in 2011 as Verizon looks for ways to supplement its FiOS TV service without building out new FiOS optical networks.

Neither DirecTV nor Verizon Wireless would comment on the trial, incidentally.

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