It appears that Comcast may be looking to branch out a little. The company already dominates the playing field when it comes to broadband internet, but it appears as though it may end up trying to take on the likes of Verizon and AT&T in the mobile space, too.
How do we know Comcast is aiming to enter the mobile industry? Well Comcast submitted an application under the name “CC Wireless Investment, LLC” to be among the 62 companies qualified to bid on new wireless spectrum airwaves set to be auctioned off in August. The 600MHz airwaves up for auction were available for TV broadcasters, and will now go to wireless carriers.
Comcast has said that it will only buy spectrum if it can do so at the right price, however, the move does highlight the fact that Comcast is looking to expand its business and may become a mobile carrier. There are other signs that the company wants to become a carrier. For example, the company activated a Mobile Virtual Network Operator agreement with Verizon, letting Comcast resell Verizon’s service. Comcast also obviously has a massive network of Wi-Fi hot spots, which it could use as part of a new carrier service.
There are also reports from Multichannel News that suggest Comcast has literally created a new division called Comcast Mobile Division — which leaves little to the imagination. This new division will apparently be lead by Greg Butz, who helped create Comcast’s broadband business when broadband was still in its infancy.
Of course, just because Comcast wants to bid on new airwaves doesn’t mean that it will actually win the auction. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and US Cellular are all also qualified to bid in the auctions, and may have bigger budgets for such purchases. Lower frequencies, like the 600MHz airwaves on auction, are best for covering large distances and reaching indoor locations. They are not, however, the type of airwaves that will be required if Comcast wants to join the slew of companies working on 5G, which will most likely require high-frequency airwaves that can deliver data at high speeds but can’t necessarily travel long distances.