Comcast has had a spectrum deal in place with Verizon since 2011. Verizon picked up a big chunk of spectrum from Comcast in 2011 for $3.6 billion and part of that deal was Comcast having the ability to become an MVNO if they wished to do so. Not long after that, Comcast made every router a public hotspot. So that users that subscribe to Comcast, could login and use free WiFi virtually anywhere around the US. Since then, the rumors have been running wild about Comcast finally activating that contract with Verizon to be an MVNO and be a wireless carrier.
Today, at a Goldman Sachs event, the rumors were confirmed. Comcast will be a wireless carrier in 2017. Although their CEO has stated that it'll likely be closer to mid-2017 before they are up and running. They'll be using a combination of Verizon's network along with their WiFi hotspot network. Which means that you should have some pretty great coverage as well as speeds on their network. This is a bit like what Project Fi is doing, but there aren't as many options. Seeing as Project Fi uses T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular networks as well as open WiFi hotspots – those that aren't Google as well. While Comcast will only use their hotspots.
Currently, the company has said it's too early to give any concrete details on pricing, availability, and such. But there should be more coming out about this in the coming months. Especially if Comcast is looking to launch this by the middle of next year. For many, Comcast is a name that they don't want to see in wireless. But adding another carrier, especially in the MVNO scene, could prove beneficial to customers. Especially if they are competitive with the likes of Cricket, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and MetroPCS. Not to mention they could offer discounts for their users to subscribe and bundle their wireless service with the cable, internet, home phone and home security products that they already offer.
At this same Goldman Sachs event, Comcast's CEO also demoed Netflix running on one of their new X1 set-top boxes. Something that many never thought would happen. But it has.