Ever since signing a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) deal with Verizon back in 2011, Comcast has been toying with the idea of becoming a wireless service provider by using infrastructure from the largest carrier in the United States. While that still hasn't happened, the mass media conglomerate insists it will have a service up and running by this time next year. Earlier this week, Comast reported its Q3 2016 earnings and the company's President and CEO Brian Roberts held a traditional earnings call after that.
During the call, Roberts reiterated that Comcast is entering the wireless carrier business by mid-2017. While some industry experts have speculated that Comcast is reluctant to do so because of a saturated market, the conglomerate's CEO preemptively commented how he believes there's still plenty of money to be made in the mobile wireless carrier business. Roberts cited the company's latest earnings report which reveals it's currently servicing over 28 million customers and is operating around 15 million Wi-Fi hotspots, adding that these numbers alone are enough to have a profitable MVNO operation.
While the conglomerate's head was scarce on details, the Comcast Cable chief Neil Smit did reveal a bit more specifics regarding this upcoming endeavor. Namely, the company will initially focus on its existing customers by offering them a so-called quad-play package. In other words, people who already get Internet access, telephone, and television from Comcast will be offered a sweeter deal to switch providers and also use the firm's mobile virtual network. The company is hoping to utilize that strategy to get a solid foothold in the wireless carrier industry before moving on and trying to attract consumers who aren't using any of its other services. It's a simple plan and one that could work considering Comcast's existing user base. For reference, this is pretty much the exact same strategy that Sky is currently getting ready to employ in the UK with Sky Mobile.
It remains to be seen whether Comcast is too late to the wireless carrier game or not but it's not that surprising it's willing to try seeing how this is a relatively low-risk endeavor for one of the largest mass media conglomerates in the world.