updated 06:49 am EDT, Wed April 9, 2014
Wi-Fi hotspots to form core of proposed Comcast carrier
Comcast is considering expanding its existing cable services into becoming a carrier, according to a report. The operator is said to be working on a service that will use Wi-Fi from subscriber routers and public hotspots to provide the bulk of connections, supplemented by cellular coverage provided by an existing carrier, in a hybrid service similar to one Google is reportedly looking into creating.
Sources of The Information claim the cable company is already laying the groundwork for the service. It already has a large network of support centers and stores for its existing services, giving Comcast a distinct advantage in setting the carrier up. It will still need to contend with problems that competitor Republic Wireless has already faced, namely making sure the transition from Wi-Fi to cellular or vice versa is as smooth as possible for the customer.
The creation of the service could also be affected by Comcast's merger with Time Warner Cable. The early-stage planning of such an endeavor could easily get lost in the merger plans, potentially end it before it can launch. If it survives, the combined company would potentially provide the service with a higher number of Wi-Fi hotspots and routers to use, increasing its coverage area significantly.