Comcast Could Make Way into Wireless Network Business, Compete with Top 4 U.S. Carriers
April 9, 2014 3:22 PM
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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.
, 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.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Only way to keep a triple play going into the future
4/14/2014 8:31:21 PM
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?
"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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