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 stm1185 on 4/9/2014 4:44:38 PM , Rating: 0
I'd get it if the price is right. They pretty much give away right now a home line. Which is almost useless for me. If they gave away a cell line for free instead, I'd get it.

It's not like I'm going to give up Cable and go back to 6mbps DSL. Might as well take the cost savings offered.

Comcast is the only thing keeping millions of Americans in the 21st century.

By phatboye on 4/9/2014 7:41:39 PM , Rating: 3
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.

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?

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