Comcast aiming to launch wireless phone service by mid-2017

During the course of a recent address at a Goldman Sachs investor conference, Brian Roberts – CEO of cable giant Comcast Corp. – said that Comcast has efforts underway to launch a wireless phone service by mid-2017.

The disclosure by Roberts implies that Comcast is apparently looking to create a new line of business, with which the company will potentially be able to better retain cable customers in an intensely competitive pay-TV market.

According to the information shared by Roberts at the conference, the wireless phone service which Comcast plans to launch will basically involve a hybrid of home broadband and cellular airwaves.

Revealing that the service will take advantage of Comcast’s 15 million Wi-Fi hot spots and use airwaves which the company has leased from Verizon Communications, Roberts said that calls, texts and web browsing on smartphones will be routed over Wi-Fi when it is available, and automatically switch over to cellular networks when Wi-Fi is not available.

Roberts further said that the renting of Verizon’s network will spare Comcast from making the investments – cell towers and other infrastructure – which it would have had to make otherwise for its wireless phone service; and added: “We believe there will be a big payback with reduced churn, more stickiness and better satisfaction.”