Look, Ma Bell!No New Wires

AT&T this week will start offering a
wireless Internet-protocol television receiver developed
by Cisco Systems that flings high-definition
video over an 802.11n Wi-Fi connection — letting customers
hook up their TVs without the need for new

The telco will offer the Wi-Fi solution, which includes
new wireless receivers and wireless access
points, across the entire AT&T U-verse TV footprint
beginning today (Oct. 31). The Cisco receivers will be
available for a one-time fee of $49 plus a $7 monthly
set-top lease fee.

The Federal Communications Commission approved
Cisco’s ISB7005 this March. The receiver supports
the 802.11n wireless standard, which provides
a maximum data rate of up to 300 Megabits per second
but will drop down to 6 Mbps depending on interference.
The 802.11n spec has an indoor range of
about 230 feet.

The wireless receiver delivers live TV channels
and interactive services, and functions as a Total
Home HD DVR, letting U-verse TV customers view
and manage DVR recordings wirelessly from a wired
DVR in the home.

For AT&T, the wireless setup promises to cut installation
time and costs, because technicians don’t need
to run any wires to a customer’s TV.

“Cisco’s wireless IPTV solution gives our customers
flexibility with where they can place and watch their
TVs, and offers a faster and simpler setup process for
customers and U-verse technicians,” AT&T executive
director of U-verse marketing G.W. Shaw said.