Cable companies have long been wanting to get into the wireless game. But the issue there was the amount of money it costs to build a wireless network, plus the fierce competition that already exists. But what Comcast and Charter are doing is using their already existing deal with Verizon for an MVNO network work for them. Comcast has already launched its network and Charter is planning to do its later this year. And according to a survey from Jeffries analysts, about 41% of consumers would be interested in bundling their wireless service with cable.
That is exactly what Comcast wants you to do. Bundle your cable, home internet and wireless together, Comcast will shave some money off of your bill and it gets more customers. It's actually something that AT&T is going to be doing soon – and something it could have been doing for quite some time. With Comcast's XFINITY Mobile service, customers can get unlimited data for just $45/month, which is pretty cheap, in fact it's the cheapest unlimited plan out there right now. But of course, you need to be a Comcast customer already, which is where the bundling comes in. While 41% would be interested in trying cable's wireless options, there was another 29% in the survey that just didn't care about it. And that's also going to be cable's big downfall. How many people are going to be willing to drop their current wireless provider to use something like XFINITY Mobile or whatever Charter debuts later this year? That number is fairly small in the grand scheme of things.
The way that Comcast's network works, is it uses Verizon's network, and then offloads to WiFi when it's available. Between having WiFi at home and then using Comcast's over 19,000 WiFi hotspots around the country, it means that users will pretty much always have a connection. And the analysts also note in this survey that cable operators like Comcast and Charter will continue to benefit with the carriers looking to increase offloading to WiFi networks. As that means more people are using their home internet connections than wireless. Which means less money to Verizon, who's network Comcast is really running on.