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Comcast to Start Selling Verizon Wireless Next Year
As Time Warner CEO Says Getting Into the Wireless Business Just Not 'Feasible'
by Karl Bode 02:38PM Monday Dec 05 2011
Last week Verizon Wireless announced they'd acquired $3.6 billion in spectrum from the cable industry (Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House) who had acquired it jointly years ago with the hopes of possibly getting into the wireless business. In addition to giving Verizon added spectrum legroom, the company prevented companies like T-Mobile or Clearwire from becoming go-to partners for the cable industry. In a post over at the company's blog, Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt confirms the cable industry simply didn't believe it was possible for a cable industry to jump into the wireless industry:
quote:
By working with the leader in wireless services, we will be able to compete effectively with all wireless and landline competitors. This is a smart and efficient way for TWC to deliver a broad array of wireless services alongside our suite of video, HSD and voice products. It makes sense for our business and for our customers. We do not believe it is feasible to enter the wireless market as a free-standing new entrant.
That's something Cox Communications found out first hand. Not content to follow Comcast and Time Warner Cable and partner with Clearwire, Cox purchased spectrum and tried to build a network -- ultimately shelving the entire plan when they realized that a new entrant trying to seriously compete with Verizon and AT&T is suicide. Details on the precise wireless services Comcast, Bright House or Time Warner Cable will offer remains murky, though Comcast today confirmed the company will begin selling rebranded Verizon Wireless Services in four markets starting early next year.

Unless there's cost savings it's still not entirely clear why -- aside of a unified bill -- customers shouldn't go directly to a wireless carrier to get wireless service.

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andyross
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-04
Schaumburg, IL

1 recommendation

Video-on-the-go

Given the way streaming video is more and more tied to your ISP and cable/satellite service, this could be one way to allow streaming (and $$ to the players) even if you are not near WiFi or a hard-wired connection.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Don't see advantage adding wireless to triple/double play

I still don't see the advantage of adding a wireless cellphone component to a double or triple play cable deal. Unless the deal can result in cellphone fees significantly lower than standalone pkgs. Or unless some type of unlimited data for cellphones is part of the deal.

whataname

@iauq.com

Re: Don't see advantage adding wireless to triple/double play

I know for Centurylink/Qwest there was/is a $5 or $10 discount for bundling, depending on what and how much you have bundled. So at least that way there is a discount for having the VZW combined.

The other advantages are having only one bill instead of two, and having one company to call if you need to make arrangements. Disadvantage is you can't let one service get suspended and catch up on others.
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·Mediacom

Re: Don't see advantage adding wireless to triple/double play

said by whataname :

I know for Centurylink/Qwest there was/is a $5 or $10 discount for bundling, depending on what and how much you have bundled. So at least that way there is a discount for having the VZW combined.

The other advantages are having only one bill instead of two, and having one company to call if you need to make arrangements. Disadvantage is you can't let one service get suspended and catch up on others.

Not much of advantage today with online bill pay offered by banks and companies themselves. $5 dollars a month is nothing and not worth switching to unified bill. $10 is a more reasonable reason.

dudemon

@comcast.net

Cox, not Charter, tried the wireless strategy

MIght want to fix your post... Cox, not Charter, tried to build a wireless network and pulled back.
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

FIOS

The MSOs wouldn't sell the specturm unless Verizon promised no more FIOS buildouts. So this spectrum sale is just a confirmation that FIOS building is dead.
sparky57

join:2003-05-18
New Bedford, MA

Re: FIOS

Interesting point.........

baineschile
2600 ways to live
Premium
join:2008-05-10
Sterling Heights, MI

quad play?

Direct TV and ATT used to team up....
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Duh moment for cable operators...

Of course it doesn't make sense. If you cannot light up a nationwide network in short order, you'll be hard pressed to make a competitive mobile play that only works in a couple big metro areas. The MetroPCS/Cricket already has the limited-coverage, low-end market covered so there are no unturned stones there.

While a slower pace might be possible by creating a competitive fixed-wireless data plan in a few metro areas and using the commensurate cash flow to fund growth with goal of reaching critical mass and then going nationwide mobile, this is wrong for cable operators. Cable's HFC plant doesn't have the coverage problems of classic telco copper and they'd only be competing with themselves. They could spawn the plan in markets they don't currently serve but their cable brethren would surely do everything in their power to sabotage it and possibly reciprocate. While good for the consumer, reciprocating would lower margins and jeopardize their planned expansion.

If offered, would a competitive ComCast fixed-wireless product sell in markets not served by ComCast? By competitive, I mean fast (25/10, 50/25), low latency, unlimited or generous caps for the same price as DSL / cable HSI offerings? Over this link they could also offer VOIP services and possibly even leverage their content provider contracts to offer video.

Works for me but I'm looking at it from a consumer perspective and really hoping wireless ends up providing the potential competition we all deserve for our last-mile HSI connections.

JigglyWiggly

join:2009-07-12
Pleasanton, CA

Re: Duh moment for cable operators...

Well I have Comcast and ATT, so meh.
mogamer

join:2011-04-20
Royal Oak, MI
said by rradina:

Of course it doesn't make sense. If you cannot light up a nationwide network in short order, you'll be hard pressed to make a competitive mobile play that only works in a couple big metro areas. The MetroPCS/Cricket already has the limited-coverage, low-end market covered so there are no unturned stones there.

While a slower pace might be possible by creating a competitive fixed-wireless data plan in a few metro areas and using the commensurate cash flow to fund growth with goal of reaching critical mass and then going nationwide mobile, this is wrong for cable operators. Cable's HFC plant doesn't have the coverage problems of classic telco copper and they'd only be competing with themselves. They could spawn the plan in markets they don't currently serve but their cable brethren would surely do everything in their power to sabotage it and possibly reciprocate. While good for the consumer, reciprocating would lower margins and jeopardize their planned expansion.

If offered, would a competitive ComCast fixed-wireless product sell in markets not served by ComCast? By competitive, I mean fast (25/10, 50/25), low latency, unlimited or generous caps for the same price as DSL / cable HSI offerings? Over this link they could also offer VOIP services and possibly even leverage their content provider contracts to offer video.

Works for me but I'm looking at it from a consumer perspective and really hoping wireless ends up providing the potential competition we all deserve for our last-mile HSI connections.

The cabelcos aren't interested in "fixed 4G LTE" and they certainly aren't interested in competiting with one another. They are just looking at another revenue stream. Just like Verizion isn't going to set up "fixed 4G LTE" against any major competition, but against the foolish telecos who bought Verizions rural systems.

Verizion is pretty smart. While ATT is trying to grow by eliminating competition all while getting massive heat for it, Verizion is actually going after market share with partners. The right pricing and packages will really hurt Sprint and the third tier wireless providers.

IowaCowboy
Want to go back to Iowa
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Only advantage is combined billing

Only advantage is combined billing, which means one less check to write (if you pay your bills the old fashioned way through the US Mail). Like many people my age, I pay my bills online through the provider's website using my debit card. Pretty much the only check I write is to the landlord for the rent on my half of the duplex I live in (since the landlord does not have a website nor does she take debit cards).

On the other hand, they might offer some sweet deals with quadruple play (cellular/landline/data/video bundles). A few years back, Comcast did not offer bundles and you had to buy the services separately (and at full price). With the Great Depression 2.0 (what I call the recent recessions), the MSOs had to offer some sweat deals as the cable and internet are the first cancelled when the breadwinner of the family gets laid off from his job.

I remember when I first got broadband (high-speed) internet, I got two separate bills; one for cable and one for HSI (this was in 2002, when I was living in Iowa, which is Mediacom turf). And that was back in the days of @Home and the discount for using a purchased modem was generous.
--
All of my CPE (including my EMTA) is customer owned. The only Comcast owned equipment in my house is the CableCards in the two TiVO boxes I own.
travelguy

join:1999-09-03
Santa Fe, NM

Bundle Billing...

...is about one thing and one thing only: making it harder for subscribers to leave. The carriers have already determined what consumers are willing to pay and there is no way they will leave money on the table by lowering bundle prices beyond any short term promotional period. The typical $5 'savings" covers a part of the cost of generating a second bill (postage and printing), so they are making money on that discount as well.

N3OGH
Yo Soy Col. "Bat" Guano
Premium
join:2003-11-11
Philly burbs
kudos:2

Verizon & Comcast in bed together?

What's next? A hundred years of darkness, the dead rising from the grave?

Dogs & cats living together MASS HYSTERIA!!!!
--
Petty people are disproportionally corrupted by petty power
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Verizon & Comcast in bed together?

said by N3OGH:

What's next? A hundred years of darkness, the dead rising from the grave?

Dogs & cats living together MASS HYSTERIA!!!!

Part of what makes a cable cellco so impossible is the fact that you need the cable industry to work out a business model where they all share network resources and profits and that is unworkable. This is like Verizon trying to work with Centrury tel to breakout to be a power company service provider. They're not even part of the same GRID...

*There are of course greater possibilites once fiber is available just about everywhere... in every city & suburb (end-to-end, not just run a bundle to the border). This would take MASSIVE investmetn by the tier-1 companies and is nowhere near a primary goal for them yet.
AlfredNewman

join:2010-03-25
Columbus, OH

Money for network upgrades?

So can we expect the money they made from this deal to go towards upgrading their own networks or is anyone getting the sneaking suspicion this will end up in the pockets of the higherups?
mogamer

join:2011-04-20
Royal Oak, MI

Re: Money for network upgrades?

said by AlfredNewman:

So can we expect the money they made from this deal to go towards upgrading their own networks or is anyone getting the sneaking suspicion this will end up in the pockets of the higherups?

Upgrading networks? Such crazy talk!