Cable TV

Comcast to launch wireless service using Verizon

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MUMBAI: Here is good news for all Comcast subscribers. The US cable giant’s chief executive Brian Roberts has announced the launch of a wireless service by mid-2017. It plans to create a service that would run on its 15 million WiFi hotspots and use Verizon's wireless network through a deal struck in 2011. Under that deal, a consortium of cable companies led by Comcast sold nationwide spectrum licenses to Verizon for $3.6 billion and secured wireless-resale rights.

This new business line will in-turn help the company to better retain its cable customers in the pay-TV market.

Roberts said that they believed there would be a big payback with reduced churn, more stickiness and better satisfaction. Comcast would market the wireless service inside their footprint, to existing and potential Comcast cable customers, as opposed to nationwide. The company was interested in up-selling customers to a bigger bundle of services.

Roberts also introduced Comcast’s newly integrated Netflix experience on its next-generation X1 set-top box and guide. It is in discussions with several other video streaming providers to integrate their services into the X1 box.

Over the past several years, Comcast has been replacing its cable customers’ routers with new ones doubling as public Wi-Fi hotspots. It is also among the potential bidders for wireless airwaves in a current federal auction. With this move, Comcast is trying to be the first successful cable mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), a concept pioneered by Virgin Mobile UK in 1999.

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