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Print 21 comment(s) - last by hephestos33.. on Apr 14 at 8:31 PM

Comcast is looking to make a hybrid Wi-Fi and cellular network

As if Comcast wasn't dominant enough in the cable industry, it's now looking to dip into the wireless carrier business and compete against the likes of Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. 

According to Android Police, Comcast is looking to make a hybrid Wi-Fi and cellular network as a way of tapping into the lucrative and growing mobile phone service business. 

Currently, Republic Wireless is one of the only companies offering this sort of combination Wi-Fi and cellular network service. It utilizes Wi-Fi networks for both calls and data when available, but switches to airwaves leased from Sprint when Wi-Fi is out of range.

But it's a startup, and while Republic Wireless is offering plans well below the cost of traditional carriers, it doesn't exactly have the top four U.S. carriers shaking in their boots. 

Comcast, on the other hand, currently has around 22 million video subscribers in the U.S. It could potentially tack more onto that number as it pushes for an acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC) valued at $45 billion USD. Together, the combined company would control about one-third of the U.S. broadband market.  

  

This could certainly worry U.S. wireless carriers if Comcast decides to pull its home and business Internet customers into the new hybrid wireless business as well. Furthermore, Comcast could offer the service at a steep discount (much like Republic Wireless), which could convince customers to leave pricey carriers like Verizon and AT&T and opt to pay Comcast a little extra each month to use it as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO).  

Comcast even has over a million public Wi-Fi hotspots, which would be helpful when entering the wireless carrier business.

As far as leasing airwaves from the top dogs in the wireless business, Comcast and some of its cable partners have already traded some wireless spectrum for access to Verizon Wireless airwaves.

While Comcast's entry looks probable on paper, the company was also just recently voted worst company in America for 2014, so public opinion of the company isn't too great right now. 

Source: Android Police



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By phatboye on 4/9/2014 7:41:39 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Comcast is the only thing keeping millions of Americans from the 21st century.


Fixed that for you


By stm1185 on 4/10/2014 3:12:58 AM , Rating: 2
From the 21st Century how? By being the only service provider for millions of Americans that doesn't use pre 2k DSL?


By dgingerich on 4/9/2014 11:22:14 PM , Rating: 2
It's Comcast paying off local politicians with "campaign contributions" that keeps the competition out of their areas. They are the ones keeping us from getting better service.


By stm1185 on 4/10/2014 3:10:53 AM , Rating: 1
Name some names then. Who are these politicians being paid off? And what company was kept out of what area? Any actual source for this information?

Or did you just make it up...


By rudolphna on 4/10/2014 11:58:38 AM , Rating: 3
This just proves you have zero understanding of the business. What is keeping competitors out is mainly cost of entry. Building out an advanced fiber optic network is a HUGE capital expenditure, with very risky ROI, that likely wouldn't start to show up for years at the earliest.


By senecarr on 4/11/2014 2:47:25 PM , Rating: 2
Except, as Seamonkey in a comment next to yours points out, there are some groups that try to bring Fiber Optic in as muncipality run service, which means they aren't worried about the ROI paying off rapidly. Cable companies have lobbied several states to make laws preventing the local governments from laying those kinds of lines.
I'd say what actually has happened trumps what you think you know about infrastructure cost.
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/02/isp-lob...


By hephestos33 on 4/14/2014 8:31:21 PM , Rating: 2
This is actually a pretty ingenious idea on their part. Especially in the more densely populated urban areas they service. They already install a public Hotspot at every business account that is installed. Also they will also be enabling a secondary public ssid "Xfinity wifi" on all their residential accounts with a cable gateways installed very shortly. That should enable them to leverage their network for this product quite easly. In many cities the big four cell providers are already using Comcast backbone for their cell towers so why not go after a bigger price of the pie?


Would pay extra to not use Comcast
By tayb on 4/9/2014 3:46:25 PM , Rating: 4
There are only a few other companies I would rather see burn to the ground and declare bankruptcy than Comcast. Even if Comcast gave this service away free of charge I wouldn't use it.




RE: Would pay extra to not use Comcast
By holymaniac on 4/9/2014 3:52:01 PM , Rating: 2
Amen.


By tng on 4/9/2014 4:08:57 PM , Rating: 2
I will second that.


By rudolphna on 4/10/2014 11:57:09 AM , Rating: 2
Have fun with your DSL if that were to ever happen.


By Farqnart on 4/12/2014 9:54:54 PM , Rating: 2
That's kind of an odd comment. Comcast should go out of business and all of it's employees and companies that rely on their existence should lose their jobs and viability?

Such statements really should be back up with some reasoning.

And you infer that there are a few other companies that should go first? Who are they? If we went with just two of the ideas on this page we would have another financial crisis underway.



Why all the hate
By Farqnart on 4/9/2014 10:07:49 PM , Rating: 2
Pardon me for not knowing this already, but why all the hate for Comcast? I'm not exactly arguing it, I just don't know what the real issue is.

I'm not a Comcast employee by any means, but I am a customer.
I've had Comcast for at least ten years now and I have seen them only get better with their services. I've had local telephone company DSL service in the 90's; it sucked. Even today there's no DSL that can compare to the speeds and reliability that Comcast offers.

I do remember being frustrated when Comcast started their triple play service because they would price Cable and Internet in such a way that if you didn't take the Phone service you would pay more. That was when I was attached to using land line phones; that was 4 years ago. I might use the land line one time a month. I look at the price I pay for the triple play as what I pay for just Internet and Cable and the phone is free in my mind. I see it that way because no one is offering high speed internet that is comparable for even a close price to Comcast.

I've seen countless postings about disgruntled Comcast customers and nearly all of them you can read between the lines and know that they are pissed off about being cutoff by Comcast for not paying their bill. Comcast is not like the gas or electric company, they don't make payment arrangement. You get a due date and they allow you to go over that date a predictable amount and pay a late fee and that's it. They don't let you play with no pay.

So please, someone enlighten me. You must feel the same way about Google too. Probably pissed at Walmart also. I'm sure if I grew a business I would at some point say to myself this is getting too big, it's not fair to the other guy, I quit.




RE: Why all the hate
By rudolphna on 4/10/2014 12:01:01 PM , Rating: 2
Hating the cable companies is the fashionable thing to do. Not saying there isn't reason to dislike them, but people also have a very poor understanding of the industry and how things work. I see people prove this time and again, they do not understand how this industry works.
-Former Time Warner Cable employee


RE: Why all the hate
By seamonkey79 on 4/10/2014 12:25:10 PM , Rating: 2
Having been a cable customer for decades and finally being able to stop being a cable customer and move to Verizon FiOS, 'work' is giving cable more credit than I ever experienced with it.

Comcast and Brighthouse, both 'worked' exactly the same, which is to say, when they wanted, and when I had to call and let them know it wasn't working, the response was 'we'll get to it' and it never was fixed.

With Verizon and before that AT&T DSL, I have yet to call because there's a single issue with it.


RE: Why all the hate
RE: Why all the hate
By senecarr on 4/11/2014 2:52:41 PM , Rating: 2
I purposely spent over a year on DSL with no TV besides what rabbit ears could barely get in to quit using Comcast in the past.
I had a roommate that I had to kick out. The night he left, he rented $100 worth of adult movies on my Comcast box, in rapid succession. I didn't even think he could do that because I had a parental lock code on the box to prevent watching anything Rated R or higher. Well apparently, Comcast considers all their Adult movies rated MA, not NC-17, so blocking things rated above R didn't block anything.
When I called Comcast and complained, they told me, tough luck, you owe $100 or be prepared for us to ruin your credit rating while battling it out in court.
It didn't matter that I had a lock out that didn't work, or that the purchases didn't even make sense (a half dozen movies renting in minutes of each other). What mattered is Comcast wanted their pound of flesh.
For that reason, I will always hate Comcast.


RE: Why all the hate
By Farqnart on 4/12/2014 9:48:29 PM , Rating: 2
This is a prime example of people blaming their problems on the company that provides them the service. You say your room mate purchased all of the videos to the tune of $100. and even though you kicked that person out of your home now, Comcast should take your word for it. That's flawed logic.
Let say you have kids and you want to block them from watching movies of a certain nature. Comcast offers the ability to put a parental lock on your box apparently. You set a pin code and assume everything is fine. I can deduce that one of three things happened; you didn't test the functionality of the pin code, or your friend saw you enter the code and memorized it, or you were the one who watched it and for some reason didn't think you would be charged.

When you created a pin code you entered into an agreement with Comcast weather it was written or just implied, you agreed that you would not allow anyone to have your pin code and you would guard it with all importance. This is just like with an ATM card, you would not change your pin code and just assume it was changed from the one you received in the mail. You would check it, and additionally there is an added level of expectation that your bank has fully tested its security on the matter with regard to anyone being able to crack a pin code. So once you confirm your new code works then it is safe bet that if you don't tell anyone or let any bad person see you use it, you're quite safe.
That expectation is not present in such a situation as Comcast's parental lock. Do you even know if the room mate could have just guessed, or entered hundreds of codes until he found the right one? You can't get away with that with an ATM card, but you should not expect Comcast to have that level of security. They didn't put in place for a room mate situation, they put it there for your kids.
So now you're in this battle with Comcast over $100. and your irresponsibility and you think you hurt them by switching to DSL and a crappy antenna? You lost that one, you should have owned up to the fact that you were the one who made the mistake. Should the electricity supplier give you a rebate because the room mate left the light on while the room mate went out for the night? If your scenario was supposed to work then every guy out there jerking off would be on the phone after 30 mins getting a refund for what he just yanked to. After all they believed you, why not him?


No Kidding
By tng on 4/9/2014 4:14:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
While Comcast's entry looks probable on paper, the company was also just recently voted worst company in America for 2014, so public opinion of the company isn't too great right now.
This is the company that has had a website started because of it. I think the name is comcastmustdie.com....

Just because they can enter the wireless world doesn't mean that they will.




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