Earlier this week the news about Google exploring adding wireless services in markets where they offer gigabit fiber popped out. Today, The Information (subscription required) points out that Comcast via their sell off of spectrum (along with other cable companies) will have access to wholesale priced 4G/LTE access. Both items give evidence that there is new wireless competition coming.
Google is already cozy with Sprint (the Google Voice integration) as well as with Bandwidth.com for transport. Bandwdth.com is already selling their Wi-Fi + mobile using Sprint's network, which is a great proof of concept. Add to that Bandwidth has a homebrew version of Fixed Mobile Convergence that may touch on or compete with some patents that CounterPath acquired when they picked up the assets of BridgePort Networks some years back. (Note I am an advisor board member for Counterpath and my agency previously provided services to both Bridgeport and Counterpath as well as to Grand Central).
The difference though is the CounterPath patents and technology offers what is known as Voice Call Continuity and enables bi-directional handoff between WiFi and mobile networks. In an all Google world with WiFi hotspots plus fiber, the handover would mean putting the FMC gateway into the networks of both Sprint and Google if Google chose Sprint as their MNO partner, or whichever operators they chose to work with.
In those situations handover would be almost seamless. In the case of Comcast the same approach would apply and Comcast and Verizon each would also need the FMC gateway in their networks. Once the gateways are in place "roaming" between WiFi and the mobile world becomes simple, as the call doesn't drop when you leave one IP universe and traverse to the other. Comcast picking up TimeWarner and how in markets like NYC where there already is massive WiFi deployment, could quickly have a massive mobile customer base there all by itself. The same could be replicated quickly all along the major cities like Philadelphia and Boston where they already have a major presence.
This will take a while to all come into play, but with Google and Comcast looking to play in wireless calling and messaging, VoIP gets hot.