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Comcast reported to be considering their own mobile service provider business
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Comcast reported to be considering their own mobile service provider business

Comcast may branch out from cable and landline internet, moving into the wireless service arena in the future. According to a report out of The Information, Comcast has been looking into the idea of creating a nationwide wireless phone network that relies primarily on Wifi with back-up service leased from already-established cellular carriers.

Instead of having to pursue purchasing large blocks of wireless spectrum and rights to traditional cellular towers, Comcast would leverage its currently-available network of Wifi hotspots to provide the majority of traffic for phones. Its Wifi network is growing with installations of public access points — over a million across various markets — in large cities and special residential routers that Comcast provides with a publicly-available signal in over eight million homes. But it naturally wouldn't be able to cover the entire country comprehensively — that's where other carriers come in.

The gap would purportedly be made up by leasing wireless service from a large carrier such as Verizon, which Comcast already has deals with the purchase wholesale access to its airwaves. A potential Comcast network-enabled phone would switch intelligently between its Wifi access points and the leased cell service, much like we've seen from the likes of Republic Wireless and others.

Current word has it that Comcast is still far off from ultimately implementing such a network, so it may be some time before we get to a place where we have yet another national wireless carrier in the U.S.

Source: The Information

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Reader comments

Comcast reported to be considering their own mobile service provider business

84 Comments

Yeah I really hope people aren't dumb enough to buy into this. Comcast is such a terrible, greedy company.

Yep, for a company that absolutely SUCKS as an ISP wants to get into the Cellular market?  I'm all for compitition, but they have to be COMPITENT at what their core business is.  And Comcast is NOT that.  They will fail just like Cox Communications did with their lame-ass attempt at enteringthe Cellular market.

ahahahahaa...NOPE, bad enough that VZ and AT&T had to provide reasonable services only because T-Mobile said fck it and changed the playing field, Comcast I don't even expect much

Just voted worst company in America (again) by Consumerist. I wouldn't get cell service with then if they were the last provider on Earth.

No need for T-Mobile to be afraid. Comcast services, and customer service are horrible. T-Mobile is no angel, but still better than Comcast.

Sounds great. Then they can make sure Hulu and any NBC-related content is only available on Comcast Wireless, attracting customers with a 12 month rebate then holding them hostage while jacking up prices later on. Woohoo.

Thanks for pointing that out because the main people saying we don't need cable anymore are the same ones saying apps suck if they have to sign in with a cable provider account to stream shows

Get this, they are using our cable boxes to broadcast WiFi. And you have to opt out if you don't want to. Not supposed to slow the ones that pay for internet. HA, like I would believe that...

Noooooooo thank you. Already plan on cancelling Time Warner when Comcast transitions them over.

Trust me. I lived it Timer Warner area first, and now in Comcast area. Comcast blows Timer Warner by far.  My internet always works. Never had an issue and absolutely love the new X1 box.

Why don't they just buy all the existing phone companies so we can all get equally screwed by the terribly monopolistic scum Comcast.

It'll be sold like everything else: package deal is $130 with it, $100 without it, so people will not think it's very much extra and sign up. Then they'll raise the price after 6 months.... And people will be too lazy to leave.

The thought that they want to use home router for public access without allowing a customer to opt-in for a fee discount is more disturbing.

Honestly? I'm kinda happy about this. This means more competition and it COULD drive down prices. I know some people hate Comcast, but they've always been good to me. My mom has Time Warner Cable and my dad has Comcast Xfinity, and I'll say that his is so much more reliable and faster. My mom's internet always goes out and she pays for 15mbps down, but only gets like 5, while my dad gets 13-14 consistently. Yes, the cable prices are outrageous, but it's not the worst.

Shaw Cable in Canada is well down this road as well. ShawGo WiFi has been rolling out for the last couple of years at a pretty rapid pace. Shaw has said that they do have plans to monetize Go somehow (although they maintain that access for Shaw internet customers will remain free) ... this must be what they're thinking as well. 

Funny all of the Comcast hate here. I have their TV/Internet/Phone/Home Security and love the service. Bill is a little higher than I'd like but i pay it because of the service quality.

This ^ +1.

 

I think there's a huge hate towards cable in general because the bill is expensive. I keep hearing people saying that customers are on hold for 1 hour, this never happens to me. I rarely have to call support and usually, I'm immediately connected.

I think it's "cool" to hate on the cable.

My friend has Republic One service. It is cheap, 19 a month, but connection is only so so. If Comcast will go the same way (using wi-fi) they may get much better result with very low prices. Their hotspots almost anywhere in urban areas. Time will show weather it will be a good thing or not. If they will have attractive line of phones it may work. They will be able to keep price low. Don't forget Comcast already was in wireless service. Singular was post-ComcastOne. Another thing. About complains about this company. People are right and wrong. Reliability of their service mostly depends on local infrastracture. 99% that infrastracture was not built by comcast it was rather incorporated when Comcast bought local provider. They will not rewire those areas. So if you had good service before it will be that way. Otherwise you are out of luck. Comcast has nothing to do with that. They won't replace cables in your area. Too expensive. I leave in the area where comcast came only 10 years ago. I have very ocasional problems with service. Maybe 1-2 times a year. My brother lives in native Comcast area in Philly. He never has any problems with service at all. It always up. Yes customer service may be very bad. But it is almost common thing nowadays. If you live in the area where Comcast has X1 try it. X1 is amazing and even better and more capable then Verizon FIOS TV. In regards to the internet i am getting 57/12 (my plan is 50/10). Speed is very stable. about speed. I spoke to many people even IT pros who complained about speed and had no clue how to test it correctly. all they know speakeasy.com... yea , right..

Werizon wireless and Comcast have business relationship. They may work together on this project. They sell each other services at their stores.

I hate Comcast. If you like your bill to randomly increase month after month with no explanation, you'll sign up for their future wireless service.

My experience, too. But we stick with them, because the alternative is internet through the phone company. As the neighbors found out, that is even worse.

I hope comcast dies a slow and excruciating death, I hope this never happens. We have enough monstrosities in the Wireless world.

Talking about WP8.1 and Cortana, I think it will be very cool if Comcast develops a WP8.1 app that integrates with Cortana. Something like: "Cortana, remind me 15 minutes before Game of Thrones plays on TV" Or "Cortana, add The Wolf of Wall Street to my Comcast Favorite".  Their X1 box is smart enough to do all that and to initiate DVR orders from the web.

Let's face it, competition is good.  More wireless providers = lower bills.

Biggest comms issue in the US is lack of choice in ISPs like Comcast => high bills.

  I'm sure that there are people out there that have had good experiences with Comcast... I am not one of them. As much as I dislike my current cellular provider, I would switch back to P.O.T.S. before ever signing up with them for anything. But unfortunately, they will get people to sign up for the service once they do offer it. They'll just bundle it with their other services and people will sign up for it because their bill will go down by $10-15 initially and they'll be happy and then once they're locked into their one-two year contract, they'll get a different bill every month even though none of their services have changed and then there will be the annual price hikes because the shareholders want more money, etc.

 

Wonderful. The worst company in the US becomes the worst wireless provider in the US. Just what we need.
Meantime, they still haven't bothered to create an XFinity streaming App for Windows Phone. Nothing like getting a jump on creating dissatisfied Wireless Customers.