Comcast To Start Offering Wireless Internet; Exploring Voice Option

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News Posted: Thu, Sep 17 2009 10:16 AM
Comcast plans to take its television on demand feature one step further:  to your mobile devices.

TheU.S. cable company recently started offering wireless Internet servicein some cities, jointly with Clearwire Corp., using WiMax technology.It has its sights squarely set on mobile phone/data providers, such asAT&T and Verizon, it appears, saying it is looking to add a "voiceoption" to that service, which could mean you could get your cable,wireless Internet and phone service (using VOIP, it would appear) onone bill.

Comcast already offers a home Internet package, inaddition to the cable service, and this summer announced it would startoffering shows On Demand via the Internet, so customers would be ableto legally see shows from a couple dozen networks— from CBS and Cinemax to A&E and BBC America, from TNT & TBSto DIY and History — on their computers. What makes this on demandservice different from existing streaming over the Internet is that theshows would be available at the same time as their initial broadcast,to paying customers. Some shows usually aren't available online untilthe next day or later, depending on the network.

Cable television companies are trying to avoid irrelevance, as the Internet wreaks havoc in the televisionindustry, as it has in the music and media industries. By offeringpeople a way to get content online, legally, and combining that withvoice, Internet and other services, they're bidding to keepshareholders and customers happy. Time Warner is also a partner in TV Everywhere, the program to bring television online legally.



A voice option on the wireless network probably wouldn't happen until the 4G networks are rolled out, Comcast Chief Financial Officer Michael Angelakis said at the Goldman Sachs Communicopia conference, according to Reuters.
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