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Roberts: Comcast Can Make Money on Wireless

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts didn’t offer any new news regarding the cable operator’s plans to launch a new wireless product next year, but added he thinks it will be a money-maker.

Comcast said last month that it expected to launch a wireless offering by mid-2017, building on its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreement with Verizon Communications.  Comcast has been tight-lipped about what that product will be, but has formed a Mobile division, tapping former EVP of sales and marketing operations Greg Butz to spearhead the effort.

On a conference call with analysts Wednesday (Oct. 26) to discuss third quarter results, Roberts said there was no new news to offer on the product. 

“We fundamentally believe we can make money for the shareholders through a wireless offering with the unique relationship we have with the Verizon MVNO,” Roberts said. “We have the ability to do things that we believe make that statement come true and can create real value for shareholders along the way.”

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Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit added that other operators – particularly Rogers Communications, Telenet and Virgin Media – have used wireless to reduce churn and increase the customer’s lifetime value.

“In a way we’re already in the wireless business,” Smit said. “We deployed millions of wireless gateways and the WiFi service in the household is the fastest in the market. I think by leveraging [Comcast’s] 28 million customer relationships, the 15 million hotspots and the MVNO we can offer a really excellent service.”