nsucurrent.com April 25, 2018

Comcast Unveils Plan To Sell Mobile Services That Harness Its Wifi Network

07 April 2017, 02:15 | Shelley Chandler

Image by Donald Iain Smith Getty Images

Image by Donald Iain Smith  Getty Images

It's making the announcement today because the service is rolling out to the company's more than 150,000 employees, with a retail launch "soon", Comcast EVP of investor relations Jason Armstrong said.

Comcast Corp. will launch a wireless service by the middle of this year with a network that combines its 16 million Wi-Fi hotspots and wholesale access to Verizon Communication Inc.'s cellular towers and spectrum. Should Xfinity Mobile take off, Verizon network costs would likely rise. Speeds are reduced after 20 GB of cellular data usage.

To start, the new service will only be available in select markets, although specifics weren't shared. Comcast has 29 million customer relationships, he says, and is the largest residential Internet service provider in the country.

Customers also will be able to select from a variety of devices, including the Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus - along with the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition - iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE. If you're okay with non-Verizon networks, Sprint, Boost, and MetroPCS all undercut Comcast's single-line unlimited deal at $50. Its target audience is existing Comcast customers - the company hopes they'll be drawn by the savings from adding mobile service to a home Internet service or bigger bundles.

The company will offer its Xfinity customers two wireless options: one for unlimited data that costs from $45 to $65 per line a month, and a pay-as-you-go plan for $12 per gigabyte.

Comcast executives have played down such concerns, saying their Verizon agreement is "perpetual" and gives them access to all future technologies and upgrades Verizon makes to its network. As Butz explained, "If you're near an Xfinity hotspot, we will put you on it".

The service is due to launch by the end of June.

The service is for customers that already have CMCSA's Xfinity Internet service. Because it relies on Verizon's infrastructure, Comcast's new service could be hurt if Verizon decides it poses a threat. Xfinity Mobile is similar to Google's (GOOGL - Free Report) Project Fi, which found success before with the concept of automatically switching between Wi-Fi and network connectivity.

In recent months, the four major USA wireless carriers - Verizon Communications Inc VZ.N , AT&T Inc T.N , T-Mobile US Inc TMUS.O and Sprint Corp S.N - have offered unlimited data plans ranging from $50 a month for a single line to $90 a month.

Xfinity Mobile plans aren't really unlimited.

"I'm going to stop there and say stay tuned", said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, issuing a typical company response during Comcast's fourth-quarter earnings call. Seems like a deal before you realize how much cash you're shoveling in Comcast's direction under the guise of a getting good deal. Comcast stock has been consolidating more recently and has a buy point of 38.54.

Xfinity Mobile is created to support the core cable business.

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