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Comcast Joining Wireless Mobile: Will Give Verizon, At&T A Run For Their Money

By Adie Pie , Jul 21, 2016 05:10 AM EDT
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Comcast is starting on its inevitable turn into providing a wireless service. In fact, the company submitted all requirements to participate in an auction hosted by the Federal Communications Commission months ago. The auction, which will begin in August, will shift 600MHz airwaves from television broadcasters to wireless carriers.

Ars Technica notes that Comcast had previously stated their interest in spectrum was only until the price would be right. However, its interest in the mobile data service industry is starting to obviously show. In fact, it has already entered a contract with Verizon Wireless. The contract allows Comcast to resell Verizon's services, for which Comcast has created an entirely new mobile division.

Further, Comcast has also stated to expand its Wi-Fi reach by turning current customer's home modems into hotspots.

Other companies that make up the 62-member bidding group include AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and US Cellular. These names, along with a few other smaller businesses, will fight it out to acquire what could be the lowest priced low-brand airwaves. These airwaves are best for handling long distances, including indoor spaces. In a surprising move, Sprint is not included in the list. However, this is likely due to the company's current financial state.

The participating companies have already submitted down payments for the auction, along with the other requirements.

As Philly.Com reports, Comcast's interest in the mobile wireless industry may have come from an internal reshuffle. There was a change in executive officers that was just recently made public.

James Ratcliffe estimates that Comcast will officially join the industry by the end of 2017, at the latest. Ratcliffe is a telecom analyst from Buckingham Research Group. He also said that "[Comcast is] looking to do it organically and not with an acquisition."

Though the auction will begin on August 16, a series of demands may extend the auction until the end of this year.

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