New Kid on the Block: Comcast Announces Mobile Service and Gigabit LTE Enters the Market

Mobile Industry News for the Week of April 3, 2017

This week, Comcast emerged as a wireless service provider. The cable provider announced its own unlimited offering in the form of Xfinity Mobile, which offers competitively priced plans to existing Comcast service areas. Another new wireless offering to consider is Gigabit LTE, which is an advanced version of LTE that’s capable of extremely fast download speeds. While carriers and smartphones have limited capacity to support this technology now, there’s a good chance that Gigabit LTE will become mainstream within the year. The stories on our minds are below.

A New Wireless Carrier? — Comcast is entering the world of wireless service. This past Thursday, the cable provider announced Xfinity Mobile, which includes two plans with unlimited talk and texting. The unlimited data offering will cost $65 per line (less than what most carriers are charging) and the a-la-carte plan will cost $12 per gigabyte. According to Fortune, these offers will appeal to single line customers who use a lot of data or families who use light data on their multi-lines. Although it’s priced competitively, this service will be limited to the regions where Comcast operates, which consists of roughly 59 million people. Analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research predicts that it will only make a “tiny dent” in the US wireless market.

Advanced LTE Before 5G — Another unique feature unveiled with Samsung’s Galaxy S8 last week is the ability to support Gigabit LTE. Gigabit LTE is an advanced version of LTE and really fast. So far, the Galaxy S8 is the only phone that can support it. But according to CNET, it’s going to be on our radar a lot more, especially as we transition from LTE to 5G. With Gigabit LTE, consumers will be able to download movies or PowerPoint presentations within seconds. Faster download speeds will also free up data capacity and boost signal for others on the Gigabit LTE network. The major US carriers are on board and aiming to offer Gigabit LTE sometime this year.

What news stories are on your minds this week? We’d love to hear what stories you’re dialing into.