Comcast confirmed September 20th its plans to launch its own MVNO cellular service. CEO Brian Roberts revealed that the Comcast network will launch by mid-2017 and put a large focus on Wi-Fi hotspots. Comcast’s service will run on Verizon Wireless network when off Wi-Fi connections.
There was no mention of pricing in the mobile roll-out announcement, but Roberts did mention that the mobile service will be targeted towards existing cable customers.
Comcast’s mobile plan would give them a leg up on the competition in which AT&T offers a plan through their relationship with DirecTV satellite service. In AT&T’s case, customers who subscribe to DirecTV get access to an unlimited AT&T mobile data plan that’s unavailable to other customers.
Comcast reported there are over 14 million Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide and thats a massive footprint that Comcast is looking to tap into and be a figure in the mobile space.
Some of the hotspots are public and other are powered by the routers in customer homes and optional guest mode that shares those internet connections with people nearby.
Comcast looks to capitalize on its partnership with Verizon, and they notified Verizon last year about their plans to sell mobile operating on Verizon’s airwaves.
Comcast’s Goals for Mobile
The addition of mobile service could help the company better retain customers in this competitive market especially when customers are turning to a more digital solution.
The company is interested in up selling customers to a bigger bundle of services which in turn could keep customers loyal because it’s much harder to search around for a “good deal” when all your services reside with one provider.
Comcast is stepping into a wireless market, which has four national players who already have more than 100% penetration in the U.S., but Comcast has its advantages with Verizon as its partner.
Verizon has consistently been ranked by independent network analysts as having the best network and Comcast has its own network of Wi-Fi hotspots; if they can integrate into their own wireless service, customers could then move seamlessly from a Wi-Fi hotspot to a cell tower for calls, texts, and data. This would save on the amount Comcast must pay Verizon.
Comcast’s ability to bundle wireless service with Cable TV will give it a higher advantage over competitors like T-Mobile and Sprint because they don’t have TV offers.
Comcast’s mission should continue to deal with convenience for customers. Again, combining wireless, Cable TV, and internet all into one bundle will make it harder for consumers to look elsewhere especially if the price is right and service remains stable.