Cable giant Comcast offers cellular plans on Verizon network

Ken Copeland
April 7, 2017

Xfinity Mobile will toggle between Comcast Wifi hot spots and Verizon's wireless network.

After teasing it was going to join the mobile carrier game this past fall, Comcast's take on wireless service is here in the form of Xfinity Mobile.

"This is about changing perceptions around our brand", said Greg Butz, president of Comcast Mobile.

Xfinity Mobile customers can opt for unlimited data for $65 a month for up to five lines or will be charged $12 per gigabyte of data they use.

It's set to launch within the next two months.

Comcast expects the wireless offering to be profitable at these prices without being subsidized by other services.

Comcast is officially pushing into the wireless space with an approach that will heavily rely on its 16 million Wi-Fi hotspots with Xfinity Mobile.

It's been in the works for a while, and on Thursday Comcast unveiled its Xfinity Mobile service. Today's customers are cutting their pay TV subscriptions, but then often turn to the same business to buy access to TV yet again - except, this time, it's via the internet and streamed to their phones, as with AT&T's DirecTV Now or Dish's Sling TV, for instance. That's a consideration that is particularly important for customers who are streaming video, such as the Comcast cable content they will be able to stream with Xfinity Mobile.

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There's been speculation that Comcast may try to acquire a wireless firm such as T-Mobile, perhaps by teaming up with Charter.

Want to know more about cable market trends? If you live in a rural area, there's a good chance that Verizon towers are your only option to get good service, so it's a boon that Comcast talked Verizon into a partnership for Xfinity Mobile. Will a wireless phone service be the answer?

Overall, growth in the wireless sector has slowed down - as the vast majority of Americans now have a mobile phone. Comcast says it will reduce speeds after you use more than 20GB of mobile data.

That said, Comcast isn't necessarily trying to compete with the big guys - after all, it's reselling Verizon, not exactly taking them on.

Comcast could be disruptive to the wireless industry simply because it is measuring success in the context of lifetime value of a customer, retention and the loyalty of its 29 million existing subscribers. "We like the business we have, we're not looking to subsidize a new effort", Cavanagh said during an analyst presentation.

Comcast's entry into wireless comes at a crucial moment for the cable giant. And when it comes to unlimited, Verizon itself has a data plan of $180 for four lines.

Comcast is one of the largest internet service providers in the United States, but unlike some of its competitors (such as AT&T), it didn't have a wireless network - until today.

One of the reasons Comcast is able to offer such competitive pricing is that the company does not anticipate having to devote much in the way of additional marketing resources to support Xfinity Mobile but instead anticipates leveraging the company's existing advertising and marketing resources. "We have a really efficient business model".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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