updated 03:50 pm EDT, Wed April 23, 2008
Comcast Plans Wireless
Cable provider Comcast is devoting significant resources to developing a wireless service of its own, information sent to GigaOM says. The company currently offers a rebranded Sprint service in select areas but is now said to be readying a dedicated division with at least one cellular veteran at the helm: Dave Williams has already jumped to Comcast as its new Chief Technology Officer from Telefonica in Europe and already has experience with Cingular (now AT&T) and the former SBC.
What Comcast intends is unknown, though the company may be interested in matching the scope of features offered by traditional telephone companies like Verizon, which have branched out to offer IP-based TV in addition to their more typical cellular, DSL Internet, and landline phone businesses.
Recent reports have suggested that Comcast may help fund Sprint's Xohm network, giving it an opportunity to offer wide-area wireless Internet access. Using the service won't offer Comcast a standard cellphone service and would require that it use voice over IP instead.
GigaOM also speculates regarding the possibility of a potential takeover of one of the smaller major carriers, including Sprint or T-Mobile USA, though their size may make an acquisition difficult for the cable firm. T-Mobile also has yet to deploy its 3G cellular service and so is behind most major carriers on a technological level.