Comcast Can Be A Mobile Threat in the Long Term

Comcast's mobile service due to be announced Thursday will be available on the iPhone. Image Gonzalo Baeza  CC BY 2.0

It will only be available to Comcast customers who already pay for home internet service, as well as potential new subscriptions. Comcast is selling its new wireless service at two different unlimited price points, and on a per gigabyte basis. To cover customers, Comcast plans to partner with Verizon's 4G LTE network along with more than 15 million Xfinity wifi hotspots to provide the coverage.

Gizmodo ran the comps. That's a steep discount to the cheapest plans offered by Verizon and AT&T, the nation's No. 1 and No. 2 wireless carriers, respectively.

For customers who don't need a lot of cellular data, Comcast charges a flat rate of $12 per gigabyte of data, enough for about an hour of video but plenty for email and chats.

Customers will be able to use the most popular smartphones with the new services, including Apple iPhones and handsets from Samsung and LG.

Comcast can offer the wireless service now because of an agreement it reached six years ago with Verizon.

Comcast connects millions of people to cable and Internet.

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Thanks to a silent partnership with Verizon, Comcast won't be forced to purchase spectrum and build its own network. Comcast said it expects to have 250 stores, about half of its total, retooled to sell wireless service and phones by the end of the year.

US national wireless carrier Sprint Corp. You'd have the option to convert back the following month.

"Relative to peers, the $45/line offering is competitive with AT&T and Verizon for both single and multiline plans ($180 for four lines), though, not surprisingly, above both Sprint and T-Mobile", Mike McCormack of Jefferies wrote in a research note.

This is the same Comcast, by the way, that constantly ranks among the worst companies in the nation. If a customer moves out of range of a Comcast hotspot, the user's Internet connection will drop until the mobile device re-establishes Verizon connectivity. Customers can switch between data options at no cost. ○ 24x7 customer support via text message - created to support the way customers use their smartphones today.

"The simplicity of the offer lends itself to a digital-first experience, which is going to be at a very efficient cost to serve, as well, " said Mike Cavanaugh, Comcast's chief financial officer.

The unlimited plan will cost $65 per line or, if you subscribe to Comcast's Xfinity Premier Double Play or Triple Play, $45 per line. Most smartphone data usage is on Wi-Fi to begin with, and that proportion could increase with Comcast's strategy of automatically connecting customers to Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots and imposing strict throttling on "unlimited" cellular data. As part of the Xfinity Mobile offering, you can stream up to 200 live TV channels on the go and control your home devices from the road.

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