Verizon FiOS Launches Souped-Up Broadband Gateway

Verizon Communications is keeping pace with a new, faster gateways being rolled out by cable competitors with the launch of the FiOS Quantum Gateway, a device equipped with 802.11ac WiFi and a speedy coax-based home networking platform.

Verizon said the new device, also known as the FiOS-G1 100, supports dual-band 2.4 GHz/5 GHz 802.11ac with beamforming, and bakes in the 2.0 version of the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) platform, which supports in-home wireline throughputs of 400 Mbps in basic mode and up to 800 Mbps in the enhanced, turbo mode.

Targeting customers who have multiple devices hanging off their home networks and like to stream video, Verizon said the wireless end of the device can handle speeds up to 800 Mbps and an unobstructed range up to 325 feet, though both numbers are based on lab tests.

Verizon FiOS subs can buy new gateway outright for $149 (over three monthly payments, except in New York Connecticut, New Jersey and Florida), or lease it for $6.99 per month. Verizon said customers can install the device themselves.

A spokesman noted that the gateway, offered now in all FiOS markets, was developed in partnership with Greenwave Systems, with the telco having access to Greenwave’s software and services, as well as its product development and mechanical design processes. Greenwave bills itself as an provider of managed Internet of Things services and products.

FierceCable reported in March that test documents tied to the FiOS Quantum Gateway under development would also be capable of supporting both Z-Wave and Zigbee, wireless protocols that could be used for home automation services and “smart” thermostats and light bulbs. It was not immediately clear how the new gateway might factor into a future connected home offering from Verizon. However, the spec sheet posted by Verizon on the currently available FiOS Quantum Gateway make no mention of Zigbee or Z-Wave being present. Updated: Greenwave told Light Reading that Zigbee connectivity will be offered through a home area network (HAN) expansion module.

Verizon, meanwhile, noted in a blog post that it will be adding new features to the FiOS Quantum Gateway over time, including security access controls such as “guest” passwords, and device-specific access that will enable customers to pick and choose which devices are allowed to tap into their home network.

Verizon ended the third quarter with 6.5 million FiOS Internet subs, and been touting  free upgrades that match the upstream and downstream speeds of its residential fiber-to-the-home service.

Verizon’s souped-up gateway is being launched as cable operators prepare their own next-gen broadband products. Of recent note, Comcast introduced the Xfinity Wireless Gateway, a Cisco Systems-made product that also supports 802.11ac, MoCA 2.0 and a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem. In September, Comcast said the gateway would become available in “select markets” this fall, noting that third-party lab tests showed that it delivered 700 Mbps of actual throughput.