Comcast is talking up its plans to launch quad play services this year, with CEO Brian Rob-erts pledging to deploy wireless and bundled offerings by the middle of this year.
The company will harness its 15m WiFi hotspots and homespots, and its cellular MVNO deal with Verizon, to add wireless to its fiber and TV services. On the firm’s fourth quarter earnings call, Roberts said: “We plan to include wireless in our multiproduct bundles in a way that is designed to add value to our customers, improve retention and ultimately ben-efit lifetime consumer economics.”
He added: “I believe that we’ll find out—and we’re hoping—it’s an end-state strategy and that it’s sustainable, and the goal of the business is to have better bundling with some of our customer who want to save some of their bill, get a world-class product and take a bundle, and have lower churn.”
Comcast said it will sell devices, including top end smartphones, directly to customers, as MNOs do, though it is expected to confine its wireless activities to its cable subscriber base rather than competing in wireless-only.
That may change at the 5G stage, however. Comcast may emerge from the ongoing 600 MHz auction with its own spectrum (having sold most of its former assets to Verizon), and it would also have the chance to leverage unlicensed or shared spectrum to deploy next generation wireless technologies at low cost, with its huge fiber footprint for backhaul and fronthaul, and its national WiFi network to improve the capacity and economics further.
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