Earlier today, Comcast held an earnings call with their line of investors. During the call, it was revealed that the company is still very much interested in a wireless plan but the details are still scarce. While Comcast is keeping their supposed wireless plans tucked away, executives for the Comcast company did make mention that NBCUniversal will likely offer up spectrum of theirs to the FCC, which will then go up for auction. However, Comcast Cable Chief Neil Smit has made mention that the company is still undetermined if they will make a bid in order to purchase the particular spectrum.
For those unaware, last week news broke out that Comcast was interested in bringing out wireless plan. This news came through Bloomberg by unnamed sources and it seems increasingly likely that the statements hold some weight. Comcast is capable of releasing a wireless plan because of the 2012 airwaves deal through Verizon which allowed select cable companies such as Comcast, to resell Verizon’s cellular service. At the time, Comcast didn’t comment on the matter but Verizon’s Chief Financial Officer, Fran Shammo, spoke with Verizon’s investors in which he made mention of select cable companies beginning to come up with ways to resell their wireless service.
Right now it’s unknown if NBCUniversal will, in fact, give up a spectrum, though if they do, then Comcast will have to bid against others in order to purchase that spectrum. Additionally, Comcast CEO, Brian Roberts, stated that even though Comcast is currently conducting various trials, because of the 2012 Verizon deal, there is no news that he’s willing to discuss on the cable company offering a wireless service through Verizon’s cellular network or their own Comcast’s Wi-Fi hotspot. Since there are tests being conducted, it could be a good sign that Comcast may attempt to purchase the spectrum during the auction.
The FCC is holding an auction for a 600 MHz spectrum which may cause a few companies that are not directly involved with cellular companies to flock towards the auction, in hopes to gain some spectrum. This auction won’t take place until next year, but so far there are some big numbers going around by analysts on just how much this auction could bring in and it appears that will be around $60 billion in total bids. It will be interesting to see which companies partake in the auction, that is not directly cellular focused and if Comcast throws any bids for the spectrum.