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Comcast Will Launch a Wireless Service Next Year (businessinsider.com) 50

Steve Kovach, writing for Business Insider:Comcast plans to launch its own wireless service in 2017, CEO Brian Roberts said at the Goldman Sachs Communicopia conference Tuesday. Since Comcast doesn't have its own cell towers, it'll rely on WiFi networks for connectivity. The user will be switched to Verizon's network when they're away from WiFi. There are already a few smaller carriers that offer services like this, like Google's Project Fi and Republic Wireless. Those companies work as mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) and pay major wireless carriers like Sprint or T-Mobile to use their cell towers when users aren't connected to WiFi. MVNOs tend to be cheaper than traditional wireless carriers, offering benefits like the option to only pay for the data you use. The move will also help Comcast and Verizon compete with AT&T, which merged with DirecTV and is able to offer combined wireless, home broadband, and TV packages.
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Comcast Will Launch a Wireless Service Next Year

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  • by jmichaelg ( 148257 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2016 @12:05PM (#52924245) Journal

    They'll make money from the cell phone service and they'll make money from the service fees they charge the cable customers for going over their data caps due to the cell phone traffic.

    Clever !

  • Great... (Score:5, Funny)

    by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2016 @12:07PM (#52924269) Journal

    We not only get to wait on hold for cable modem problems, but now wireless as well.

  • How to disable wireless on your comcast router, so you can retail at least a minimum bandwidth, followed by legislation making this illegal.

  • Will we have the opportunity to rent a wireless router for 200$ a year?
  • by Somebody Is Using My ( 985418 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2016 @12:29PM (#52924449) Homepage

    This is a shot across Verizon's bow by Comcast, warning them the two will soon be in direct competition. Not for wireless service - I'm sure they'll both divvy up the country to ensure they each maintain their near-monopolies. Rather, Comcast executives were becoming worryingly upset by the comparisons between the two companies on who was providing the worst customer service. Comcast is getting into wireless telephony solely so they can show up those second-tier Verizon agents about how to /really/ screw over cell-phone customers. Because nobody fucks over customers like Comcast.

    • If they are gonna use Verizon's service when not near WiFi towers, why go for Comcast's service at all? For instance, I am a Verizon subscriber (happen to be stuck w/ Comcast @ home), but whenever I need to make data calls, I use Vonage or 8x8. In Charlotte, when I lived near a federal facility and had attenuated cellular signals, I would use Vonage while at home to call outside, and Verizon's own service while I was out. For something like $40 a month, people could do the same.
  • Compete? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Atmchicago ( 555403 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2016 @12:41PM (#52924571)

    The move will also help Comcast and Verizon compete with AT&T...

    Comcast. Compete. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! That was a good joke.

    • Comcast certainly competes with Verizon and AT&T. Not in the marketplace, of course - just in the competition to see who can be the most evil.
  • They will quickly drop their plans for a wireless carrier as soon as they discover that they can't force local regions to give them a monopoly on cell phone service.

    Seriously, how are Comcast going to survive when they have other companies to compete against?

  • by evilRhino ( 638506 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2016 @01:10PM (#52924819)
    Where I live, the only broadband offerings are 1.5Mbps DSL from Verizon, or Comcast Xfinity. Although Verizon had made a deal with the state government to provide broadband service to all residences, they've since reneged on the deal since by arguing their LTE coverage should count. It's been pretty clear that these two companies have made some deal to not compete with each other, and cooperate to maintain high prices and limited service.
  • In Florida the cable company Brighthouse offers LOTS of free wifi hotspots all around for free if you're a customer. Basically they piggyback off of site modems they install, so it's not hard to find a place to connect.

  • I would bitch mightily if my house were close enough to the public for others to use my router while I pay for the power. Can you imagine how much Comcast is benefiting by not paying for the power load their millions of wifi hotspots are consuming?

    • I'm sure you can find some *good* reasons to bitch about this. Power usage will be increased by about 2-3 watts while something is actively downloading. If someone is downloading constantly 8 hours per day, that's about $1 per year power cost.

    • Why even use their CPE? If you really care about distancing yourself from your ISP, the last thing I would do is use the CPE that they provide you.
  • This sounds like an answer to a question that nobody asked. Such as "you know, I love getting the high hard one from my cable company - I wonder if there's a way that I could get even more screwed by them, while getting worse wireless service than I get from my incumbent provider who also screws me bigtime?"

  • If this is the reason that Comcast modems broadcast xfinitywifi, this will fail just as anything relying on xfinitywifi does.
  • by Simulant ( 528590 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2016 @02:20PM (#52925475) Journal

    Verizon AND Comcast?

    There really is a hell.
  • This whole notion of offloading cell traffic onto Wi-Fi is flawed.

    Wi-Fi wasn't made for roaming. That explains why when you are sitting in your car outside your work your phone happily remains connected to work's Wi-Fi router but you get zero throughput. Wi-Fi also cannot do seamless handoff between routers the way mobile data can.

    Regardless, I never connect to Wi-Fi hotspots. Their throughput is either swamped by other users or throttled by QoS. Either way, the only reason to connect to Wi-Fi is for high-b

    • Not to mention, those hotspots are usually no-password and a security sieve
    • I don't know to what degree it has been rolled out but in my neck of the woods every comcast router has two radios one for the customer and one for xfinity wifi. The initial excuse for this was to support xfinity users wherever they are but I have a feeling this was the ultimate goal.

      I wasn't using my comcast router for wifi so I turned it off and used my linksys. A year later i began having wifi issues nonstop and after using wifianalyzer I saw that they had turned on the other radio and it was like doub

  • So ya.... no one sees the conflict of interest in this?

    Comcast and Verizon in bed together? Any wonder you can't get FiOS ANYWHERE!!!

    Ya, I am so sick of this crap....

  • With Comcast's world-class bad customer service, what could possibly go wrong?
  • Comcast has precisely ZERO chance to make this work, and I don't say that just because Cox's attempt failed miserably. Have they heard of the cellular price wars? Have they looked at all the prepaid MVNOs out there? There are plans out there for everyone, no matter how little or how much data you use, and their prices are quickly trending towards zero.

    People already know they can offload their cellular data usage onto WiFi, and the big ISPs all have some inexpensive way you can gain access to all their WiF

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