Comcast WiFi-centric mobile phone service launches next year

Disappointed that you don't have more Comcast in your life? Starting mid-2017, you'll be able to get mobile phone service through the service provider, something that will reportedly rely heavily on WiFi but will utilize the Verizon Wireless network for times you're not near a WiFi network. The WiFi will be coming from the company's own subscriber-based hotspots, something confirmed by company CEO Brian Roberts today. The move follows an increasingly large migration from traditional television services to online video streaming, prodding the company to seek out new ways to boost its revenues.

At the heart of the company's plans lie its own 15 or so million WiFi hotspots (which are not without controversy), something themselves being facilitated by the millions of Comcast customers located around the nation. The service provider will utilize a technology it has been testing for a while, one that will allow a smartphone to toggle between these WiFi hotspots and cellular networks without losing connectivity, being a seamless experience on the user's end.

According to Bloomberg, Comcast is also bidding in an auction to get some wireless airwaves, something that would help it establish its own network. Ultimately, though, Comcast Mobile (as it has been dubbed) will function as an MVNO, and it pines to be the best among them.

While we know the company is busy working on this plan and that it expects to launch the service by next summer, other details are lacking — it isn't clear how much the service will cost, nor whether the planned initial launch will only be for select markets. As with other similar plans, though, it'll likely be priced lower than an ordinary mobile service plan due to those hotspots and the resulting decrease in mobile data usage.

SOURCE: Bloomberg