Comcast might launch a cellular service using Verizon’s network
“Cable is going to do what they are going to do and we’re going to do what we’re going to do”, he said.
We’ve asked Comcast for a response but haven’t heard back. That’s half the price of a typical wireless plan.
“It is hard to imagine why Comcast would want to be the fifth player, unless there was a clear path to industry consolidation, which is unthinkable under the current (Obama) regulatory regime”, said Mike McCormack, a Jefferies analyst, in a research report.
Verizon CFO Francis Shammo hinted at the matter earlier this week during his company’s earnings call, saying that cable is going to do what they’re going to do and Verizon will do what it’s going to do. By launching a cellular service, Comcast would be able to charge Americans for surfing on Verizon-powered 4G LTE.
There is no word yet as to whether Comcast or any other cable companies will look to revise their deals with Verizon Wireless.
It’s being reported by Bloomberg that a trial of Comcast’s wireless service could begin in as soon as six months, with a full-scale public rollout occurring roughly a year from now. Comcast didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. These would be hybrid cell services as well as Wi-Fi service.
“We have an existing MVNO agreement and we were informed that they are going to execute on that agreement, and the agreement is the agreement”, Shammo said on a call with analysts on Tuesday.
Competition, along with lower prices and better terms, has been raging on and off in wireless market for the past few years, ignited by T-Mobile’s (TMUS) moves since John Legere took over as CEO in 2012. Again, Verizon spends massive amounts of money at most auctions it attends, but in the end it relies on its ability to use higher quality spectrum bands to provide a more powerful network than rivals can do with more spectrum. One of the first attempts was a partnership between Sprint Corp. and a group of cable companies including Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc. and Cox Communications Inc.
The MVNO option was included in Verizon’s $3.6 billion deal to buy airwave licenses from the cable group four years ago. However, it would not be Comcast as an individual company, but as part of a larger consortium of cable companies. Verizon can offer cable-TV products in its retail stores, receiving a percentage of revenue for every cable customer it signs up, while cable companies can receive fees for each wireless customer they sign up.