The wheels have been in motion for a while now and according to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, the company is moving forward with the launch of its own wireless service offering starting in 2017. According to Roberts, the company will capitalize on an existing network of 15 million wi-fi hotspots as well as an existing MVNO agreement with Verizon to access their network.
Roberts noted that Comcast is planning to limit the mobile service to their existing footprint. Within that area, Comcast services approximately 28 million customers. Most of them currently bundle TV, Internet and landline services, so the addition of wireless service will be another opportunity for product upselling.
Analysts have suggested that Comcast may be able to succeed in their efforts if they are able to steer customer data usage, some say as much as 75 percent, onto their wi-fi access points. This will help them increase margins and result in much better financial performance than traditional MVNOs are able to achieve. Actively and aggressively moving customer data from cellular networks onto wi-fi is a similar strategy that Google uses for Project Fi.
According to analysts with New Street Research,
“We believe this will mark a turning point for the US communications landscape. We estimate compelling wireless margins for Comcast while using the MVNO (despite what others might claim); however, we expect the company to seek greater control over the product and the customer experience and better economics still through a deeper partnership with or an acquisition of a Wireless carrier in due course.”
Besides taking steps to ensure the company can access the MVNO deal with Verizon, Comcast made some moves with executive staff this past year to create a new Comcast Mobile division. Currently that division employs about 150 workers. Comcast also registered with the FCC to participate in the auction of 600 MHz spectrum, although it is unclear how important that may be to the plans.
Are you interested in exploring Comcast for your wireless service needs?