On Monday, May 8, 2017, Comcast launched Xfinity xFi, a new and personalized Wi-Fi
Charter and Comcast CMCSA +0.29%, both on many top ten lists of the most hated companies in America, have announced a partnership to offer wireless services to customers who apparently don’t read those lists. In a statment the regional cable companies announced a plan to combine forces and expand Xfinity Mobile into each company’s respective markets.
Xfinity Mobile was launched last month and runs on the back of Verizon’s LTE network. Of course, Verizon Wireless is one of the companies they will be competing against, along with AT&T T -0.16% and T-Mobile . Knowing that a wireless offering going up against any of the big four wireless carriers (Sprint included) is near insane, Xfinity Mobile will be targeted at existing Charter and Comcast customers, no doubt touting HBO and other cable entertainment packages as a selling point.
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There are two delightful and expected sides to this coin. The positive side is that Xfinity Mobile customers get access to 16 million Wi-Fi hotspots in just the Comcast territory alone. Then stack on the millions of hotspots in Charter territory and well, that’s a ton of hot-spots. Wi-Fi is always the best option when you are paying for a limited data plan.
Entertainment is one of the driving factors behind our buying decisions when it comes to cell phones and wireless plans. There are plenty of statistics to support the assertion that we spend a lot of time on our phones watching things. Offering millions of Wi-Fi hotspots around the country is a selling point that Comcast and Charter customers can’t ignore.
To bolster the wireless offering, Xfinity also today launched Xfinity xFI, a mobile app that allows users to manage home Wi-Fi networks via an online dashboard. Available for iOS and Android, the xFI app is a re-branding of the current web portal that allows you to access your wireless settings. There is also an advanced dashboard that is for higher broadband customers that manages things like home security and automation.
The downside to all this is that Comcast itself was once called the worst company in America by the Consumerist. Additionally, both Comcast and Charter are ranked pretty low on the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which is to say, both companies aren’t exactly treasured for customer service.
Regardless, Comcast and Charter refuse to stick to being ISPs with terrible customer service. Both companies are committed to bringing that quality customer service to the wireless industry.
“At Charter, we have a tremendous opportunity in front of us in the wireless space,” said Tom Rutledge, Chairman and CEO of Charter in a statement. “Within our footprint, our network is perfectly suited to provide the data-rich wireless services that customers are increasingly demanding. By working with the team at Comcast, we can not only speed Charter’s entry into the marketplace, it will also enable us to provide more competition and drive costs down for consumers at a similar national scale as current wireless operators. We look forward to working with Comcast through this innovative arrangement and bringing our focus on superior products and services, craftsmanship and quality customer care to the wireless space.”
Charter is the second largest cable television provider behind Comcast, so it makes sense to mesh the engineering teams within each respective organization to beef up the wireless offering. Whether or not the two ISPs will find success in the wireless carrier arena is yet to be determined. Though I’m with T-Mobile CEO John Legere on this one, who back in January told CNET that he thought the cable companies would get their “asses kicked”. No doubt.[“Source-forbes”]