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Comcast is jumping into the world of wireless, and will be unveiling its long-discussed mobile phone service later today. The company confirmed last September it would be launching a network this year, and according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, it will be unveiled later today as Xfinity Mobile.
The service will be an MVNO, meaning that Comcast will be piggybacking on Verizon’s cellular network. It plans to supplement this with millions of Wi-Fi hotspots, similar to the approach taken by Google’s Project Fi. According to the WSJ, Xfinity Mobile will be available nationally, but only customers who buy at least one of Comcast’s other services — either home internet, television, or a phone landline — will be able to get on board. Details of pricing and data allowances are yet to be announced.
Comcast has been working towards this move for years, ever since it sold a chunk of wireless spectrum to Verizon back in 2011. This was in exchange for access to Verizon’s cellular network. Critics have suggested this will hamper Comcast’s success in wireless, as Verizon can raise the prices if it becomes to popular. Executives for Comcast told WSJ that this was not a concern, as the deal with Verizon was “perpetual.”
Disclosure: Comcast is an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.
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