A recent Comcast job listing has the Internet abuzz about the company’s mobile ambitions. There’s not a ton to go on but here’s everything we know at this hour.
Comcast said it is looking to develop new concepts to mobilize its core Triple Play business as well as evaluating potential entries into the wireless ecosystem. Said concept will lean on the company’s 22 million Internet subscribers, its eight million Wi-Fi hotspots and its X1 entertainment system.
What exactly does all of that mean?
By referencing its existing Internet subscribers and Wi-Fi hotspots, it sounds a lot like Comcast is moving forward with its rumored Wi-Fi phone service. That service is expected to be similar in nature to Freewheel, the Wi-Fi calling service that Cablevision introduced last month.
Freewheel offers non-Cablevision customers unlimited data, text and voice for $30 per month or $10 per month for existing Cablevision subscribers. The catch of course is that it only works on approved Wi-Fi hotspots and there's no cellular network to fall back on. Comcast’s Wi-Fi service would likely be much like this, piggybacking off of its public Wi-Fi hotspots as well as residential routers.
Comcast also said it is evaluating a potential entry into the wireless ecosystem which could mean as an MVNO. Comcast CFO Michael Angelakis noted in December that the company already has contracts with Sprint and Verizon in place to launch MVNO agreements should they choose to do so.
The best outcome here would be a combination of both, MVNO service on Sprint and Verizon’s network backed by its millions of Wi-Fi hotspots scattered around the country (or vice versa, if you wish). Of course, the impact of adding wireless customers to residential Wi-Fi networks could drive some customers away.