You may or may not remember, that back in 2011. Verizon struck a deal with a number of cable companies including Comcast, in order to pick up the AWS-1 spectrum. The FCC approved these deals in 2012 and permitted the MVNO agreements. However, none of these cable companies (Comcast, Cox, Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable) have yet to actually launch their own MVNO service. Imagine if Dish had been in on the deal?
The current deal that Verizon has with Comcast spells out the price per minute that they would be paying. However when it comes to Data, it’s not very clear. This deal was struck back in 2011. Things have changed quite a bit since then. For instance, Verizon was still offering unlimited data in 2011. Now, Verizon is doing shared data plans and tiered data. With Sprint and T-Mobile cutting prices. Verizon doesn’t believe that the market is right for Comcast to really compete. Verizon’s CFO, Fran Shammo stated that the agreement with Comcast is old and stale. Shammo also stated that the talks with Comcast are ongoing.
Verizon told the Wall Street Journal, “We’re confident a mutually beneficial arrangement can be achieved.”
While Comcast may not want to pay the amount that Verizon is likely going to offer them, Comcast has something Verizon doesn’t have. Lots of WiFi hotspots all over the country. Over 10 million in fact. Comcast could do what Project Fi and Republic Wireless does, and keep their customers on WiFi, and switch over to Verizon’s network when WiFi’s not available. It wouldn’t be the first time, and I’m sure it won’t be the last either. Comcast could also offer Verizon customers to use these hotspots for free. Currently, you need to be a Comcast customer to use XfinityWiFi and login with your Comcast account.
This report coming out of the WSJ also states that Comcast has a deal with Sprint in place. However, a Sprint spokesperson stated that the deal with Sprint is also several years old and is very vague. So that will need to be renegotiated as well, and updated. But if Comcast could do something like Project Fi with Verizon and Sprint’s networks, that would be a great thing, and a worthy competitor.