As both AT&T and Verizon shift their focus to cable, Comcast will launch its wireless phone service in the coming months, the company announced during its Thursday earnings call.
The aim is to roll out the network by the middle of 2017, Comcast President Neil Smit said. Once launched, the service will be bundled in with the cable giant’s other products, including internet, cable and landlines.
Rather than build their own wireless network, Comcast will use its existing Wi-Fi hotspots and Verizon’s network as part of a partnership between the two companies that dates back to 2012.
The move will help Comcast compete with AT&T, which has expanded into the cable business in the past year. AT&T acquired satellite-TV service DirecTV in 2015 and recently launched streaming service DirecTV Now. Verizon also is reportedly looking at the cable market. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Thursday that Verizon VEO Lowell McAdam has approached Charter Communications, the No. 2 cable company behind Comcast, bout a possible merger.
It is unclear how much Comcast’s service will cost, but Jason Armstrong, Comcast’s senior vice president of investor relations, called it as “a great value.”
“We plan to include wireless in our multiproduct bundles in a way that is designed to add value to our customers, improve retention, and ultimately benefit lifetime customer economics for us,” Armstrong said. “Our offering will give customers access to a world-class wireless network benefiting from our Wi-Fi with the best mobile devices and a simple transparent experience.”