Wireless Industry News

Comcast unveiled its much-scrutinized plan to enter the wireless business today, showcasing what it believes to be a model that undercuts incumbent carriers on promotion, delivery and price. 

In a web conference featuring new Comcast Cable CEO Dave Watson, company mobile chief Greg Butz and CFO Mike Cavanaugh, Comcast confirmed the widely understood underpinnings of Xfinity Mobile: The product will leverage the MSO’s existing 16 million public Wi-Fi hotspots, filling the gaps with access to Verizon’s 4G LTE network through a mobile virtual network operator agreement signed back in 2011. 

“We get it—wireless is a hyper-competitive marketplace,” Watson said. 

Comcast will offer both unlimited and limited data plans, marketing bundled mobile service only to existing users of its high-speed internet services through already established promotional mechanisms such as direct marketing, call centers and stores. Read More

Verizon Wireless activated its Category M1 LTE network, making it the first U.S. carrier to launch a nationwide LTE network dedicated to the internet of things. The carrier said it will offer IoT data plans for as little as $2 per month per device, with customized options available for bulk activations and volume purchases.

Category M1 LTE is very different from the higher categories of LTE that smartphones use. Uplink and downlink speeds are both capped at one megabit per second, and bandwidth is capped at 1.4 megahertz per device. This is said to enable low-cost connectivity chipsets for devices that do not need constant communication with the network. Category M1 modems are roughly 75% less complex than Category 1 modems, which are currently used to connect IoT devices to LTE networks