Comcast reported to be considering their own mobile service provider business

A growing national Wifi network would provide the backbone for another competitor in mobile service

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

 
There are 78 comments

VictorWho says:

This would be awesome. Like you said, more competition. More competition often leads to lower prices.

savdini says:

More competition equals less services for everyone. 2 cellular carriers is all we need.

Nexus 4 - CM10.1.3

Phillycat says:

What...?

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Jay Holm says:

What the heck?!?!?

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MERCDROID says:

Sarcasm at its finest, lol.

cctpitts01 says:

What the hell are you smoking? Obviously you don't remember what happened the last time we had only 2 carriers? Southwestern Bell and Bell Atlantic aka AT&T and Verizon when they were making everyone pay threw the nose for wireless service and the cause of the half the US debt lol ( the last parti exageratted a little but you get the point).

savdini says:

I'm serious, the more competition the worse it gets for the consumer. It's basic economics. Too much competition equals many half assed services rather than a few premium.. You can't find 1 video streaming service that has it all because there's too much competition. If there was only 2, the only thing to compete on would be price because they have everything the other had. No, we have Netflix and Hulu and have cable to enjoy everything we want. If Netflix bought Hulu, increased their price 10%, everyone wins. Less competition.

The same applies in cellular. Sprint's awful service and half assed everything benefits no one. T-mobile might as well not exist. I don't know anyone with t-mobile. I hear hear hear about them on the internet but not in real life. At&t and Verizon rule, that's all everyone has and everyone is happy. They're lowering prices to compete with each other, not because they're scared of other carriers. If they can gobble up any other competitors we win with more value. Not the other way around.. It's our free market mentality and we keep being told more competition is better.. If att still had the monopoly on telecom, we'd still be paying close to nothing for service.

Learn math people.

Nexus 4 - CM10.1.3

Warrenisit says:

Oh my god.... Keynesian economics at its finest, but even worse. Write a book smart guy.

ConTejas says:

"Learn math people" says the guy who has probably never taken algebra let alone calculus, and sure as hell doesn't have a clue about economics...

Mind = Blown.

mwara244 says:

FYI they are not lowering prices, they are the ones that started this whole Price Gouging Tiered Data Crap to begin with. I still have the $30 a month Grandfathered in unlimited data with no cap. You can't even get that for 2 GB now. If they still offered $30 a month Unlimited data, or even for $50-75, I might agree. Verizon and ATT are doing everything possible to nickel and dime customers to death. Verizon is also terrible for holding on to CDMA as long as they can to control customers and manufacturers. They even said when they go VoLTE they will still keep CDMA "to fall back on." Verizon is also paying ) in taxes while raking in 130 billion a year, and not using it to upgrade their network, while they barely cover areas with the minimal amount of LTE towers to label them "covered." Their networks are so congested that the speeds are barely faster than 3G. Also telecommunications need heavier regulations, like in Europe and Canada, here in the US they can change the rules and/ or just make them up as they go along with almost full impunity. Until their is more protections for consumers, and they actually upgrade their networks to fiber optics for faster speeds, and install more lte towers to relieve congestion, then yes we need competition. Verizon believes in more of the same while charging more for less, and that is why we need competition.

neonworm says:

Huh?

Radioman72 says:

Interesting, never seen Comcast and lower prices in the same sentence before. :p

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DWR_31 says:

You missed one, Comcast, Verizon and low-price.

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TheDu9du says:

THIS

marisdaman says:

That!

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Daniel Nava says:

and the third

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Warrenisit says:

Bingo... Costumer service is another issue they have no idea about. Pay a lot for them to suck... often.

sublimaze says:

No doubt. Comcast was just named "The Worst Company in America" by The Consumerist
http://tinyurl.com/mbbewv3
And anyone that has ever been a Comcast customer (myself included) can attest to the validity of that claim.
I will never, EVER be a Comcast customer again. If Comcast was my only option, I would rather do without tv/internet.

MarkSeven says:

They cut me off and I never bothered to get it cut back on.. I'll pay it eventually but I don't want their service except for maybe internet.. Way too expensive.

cctpitts01 says:

I have never had an issue with their Customer Service but then again everyone seems to have the own opinion of whats good and wjay s bad customer service.

intrepid359 says:

Same here. Everything has been smooth with Comcast for me for the 4 years I've used them. AT&T too. They're both supposed to be terrible, but AT&T has gone above and beyond in ways I never thought would happen.

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Warrenisit says:

I started to list my issues with them but it'd take way too damn long and it'd just get me worked up. Haha... To each his own, like you said.

wezi427 says:

Haha, that's so true.

"How'd you get the beans above the frank?"

Apaca1ypse says:

I'm pretty sure that's the Republic Wireless business model. Guess the bigger name may push them to more sales/success.

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reeper55 says:

I'd be willing to bet they don't copy Republic's kick ass pricing though. I bet they would likely double the prices.

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tdizzel says:

I used to have Comcast for Cable/internet. With the exception of their prices, their cable and internet service, and their customer service, I thought they were a great company.

MERCDROID says:

I see what you did there, lol.

sublimaze says:

Ditto. See my post above.

MarkSeven says:

Haha!

But... That competitor would be COMCAST.

We need competition, but watch out what we wish for.

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tmiller679 says:

Exactly. By far the worst company ever.

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Jay Holm says:

Worse than Verizon?

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tmiller679 says:

I think so.

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wezi427 says:

Without a doubt they are.

"How'd you get the beans above the frank?"

MarkSeven says:

I think they are tied.

luke31 says:

Quick! Stab it! Fell the beast before it wakes!

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Gator352 says:

This is what will happen if you need service for your phone:

4/8/2014:

You: My phone won't connect to the internet.

Comcast: Sorry sir, let me look into it for you.

You: Thanks!

Comcast: Ok sir, we have an opening on 4/14/2014. What times would you like us to call you back? Between 10 and 12, 2 and 4, or 4 and 6?

You: UH........

FutureKix says:

+1

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Warrenisit says:

Bingo

bjn714 says:

As if the public wifi enabled consumer routers weren't enough, now Comcast users may have to share bandwidth with cell phone users as well? Yay...

intrepid359 says:

I was just thinking that! They secretly use your router to hook up other subscribers using your bandwidth, making your home Internet into a public hotspot. Now they want to turn your router into a cell tower? Dear God, what if they implement those data caps?

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bjn714 says:

First, the 250gb data cap has been there for like 3 years now. That is why I left Comcast. They tried to force me to switch to a business account for 3x the cost and half the speed. Haha yeah right.

Also, the public wifi hotspot isn't counted toward your data cap or your speed tier. It would still increase bandwidth usage for the neighborhood potentially slowing things down. As if the network isn't congested enough already.

ConTejas says:

I'm not any sort of fan of Comcast or my $150 per month bill, but WTF is with you data hogs thinking you should be able to use 10x the bandwith of your neighbor and NOT pay more? You guys are the reason for the higher prices for the rest of us. I stream Netflix and HBO Go like a champ and never even remotely had to check to see what sort of bandwiith I'm using. When was the last time you saw the light of day not through a window? LOL

Cox Cable tried it, it didn't work

**Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!**

twolastnames says:

I work for cox, it didn't work because we had a guy that was brought over from a pager business run it. And we used Sprint instead of all the spectrum we bought. Ohh, and handsets sucked. Us peon's though we're excited at the time.

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Jay Holm says:

Gosh! That was a long time ago! I barely remember that...

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bryce850 says:

I work for Comcast .. And we have been activating a lot of WiFi hot spots lately so this would not shock me

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twolastnames says:

I think all the cable companies that are sharing WiFi hotspots are about to start getting crazy with this.

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BB_Bmore says:

They better if they want to future proof the company. Mobile has moved deep into entertainment why not move entertainment into mobile...

Mike

twolastnames says:

There is not enough reliable spectrum to kill off landline service for at least the foreseeable future.

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Jay Holm says:

Tons, and tons of advancements can be made using carrier aggregation, and wider channels of spectrum. Carriers have been lazy for such a long, long time, perfect example being that ATT never deployed HSPA+42, anyway there is a ton of tinkering that can be done to make wireless networks a whole lot more capable than they currently are. Also, some years back some sort of "spectrum crunch" was being feared by the time 2015 rolled around, here we are only 8mo's away from 2015, and well, with the exception of Sprint, the national carriers networks are still putting out sufficient, and capable speeds.
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twolastnames says:

So what your telling me is you can take all the bandwidth hog analog channels a cable company puts up, plus a couple hundred hd channels, plus triple the internet speeds and latency 1/5 that of lte, phone service and a streaming on demand service all over wireless? No way.

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twolastnames says:

Speed and bandwidth are not the same thing. Cable companies pretty much have all the spectrum you can feasibly use, and they are in a bit of a bandwidth crunch at the moment.

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Jay Holm says:

Speed and bandwidth aren't the same thing? But I thought the more bandwidth there is the more speed a network can put out.

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twolastnames says:

Bandwidth is how much information can pass over a network at one time. Your personal speed can be almost thought of as your personal bandwidth, but that is better suited for landline internet, as you are paying for a certain speed, and for the most part get that. Why do you think wireless speeds drop with more customers without network upgrades?

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Jay Holm says:

Because it isn't dedicated speed like cable internet is.

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TenshiNo says:

Cable internet isn't exactly "dedicated speed". Your cable internet connection can suffer "congestion" slow downs just like a cellular connection. It's just that the cable has a *lot* less interference (ie: dropped/corrupted packets), and a lot bigger pipe (more bandwidth) to start off with.

There are also subtle ways in which the TCP/IP protocols work which means that you are often not using 100% of available bandwidth at any one time. This is why the BitTorrent protocol has become so popular as a means of distributing data, since lots of small chucks actually tends to be very effective at utilizing a large percentage of your available bandwidth.

I'm pissed enough that they're buying Time Warner - I don't want Comcast anything let alone cell service. It's bad enough I'll be stuck with them for Internet (unless Google fiber makes it to San Diego).

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twolastnames says:

I can't comment on your area specifically, but generally Time Warner is dragging ass on plant upgrades, equipment upgrades to customers and such. Didn't sound like right now they were irrelevant, but the push to cable hitting 1GB download speeds (which is about to happen) was going to cost them to much, hence them wanting to be bought. (Plus I'm sure a ton of other things)

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Gekko says:

anyone remember Comcast Metrophone?

Tyegly says:

Does anyone remember Comcast Cellular One? That was my first or second cell phone provider. Yes, I am old.

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TheDu9du says:

They could buy T-Mobile and burn it to the ground, I bet Verizon may even be willing to finance this endeavor.

Why do you think Comcast needs money from anyone else to afford buying out T-Mobile? There are other issues than money that would keep that from happening.

dadathepanda says:

I know what I won't get.... Rather have Verizon for the test of my life than Comcast

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bryce850 says:

And to add we have been working with Verizon for a bit now shockingly

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richardsoper says:

I wouldnt use it even if it was free. Comcast is the worst company I have ever been forced to deal with. Fuck them.

Warrenisit says:

Sprint is the devil followed by Comcast for me.

richardsoper says:

Sprint is ever so slightly below Comcast on my shit list. I just recently switched from them to T-Mobile and now that I havent had to deal with Sprints shitty network I hate them less lol. But Man do I know how you feel.

Dizfunctions says:

Uh NO. Of. Don't want Comcast in any more places

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ayg says:

Good to know the "CableWIFI" hotspots Comcast hosts now for all us suckers who pay for their racket will be even more useless. Its hard to get dial up speeds from those things most every time I've connected to one. I'd be shocked if they even had the bandwidth to funnel a tin can telephone call.

eve6er69 says:

If you think this is better for the consumer just look up the term oligopoly

teleburst says:

Comcast?!?

This should go well.

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K White1 says:

I hate dealing with Comcast for cable and internet (but it's convenient in most of the housing options near campus), so there's no chance I sign-up for their wireless phone service. And I hope those who do are prepared for many frustrating exchanges with customer service.

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Kegman says:

verizon and ATT are loving this! they wont be the most hated cell phone carrier anymore.

TenshiNo says:

Seems like Sprint is pretty hated, too.

jerrod6 says:

As a former Comcast customer and someone who lives in Philadelphia - - home to Comcast - - Comcast country, I want nothing to do with them no matter what they offer - - repeat-- Nothing!

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