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Comcast and Charter announce wireless bromance

comcast xfinity xfi

The two biggest US cable operators have publicly vowed to hold each other’s hands when exploring future business opportunities in the wireless space.

Both of them have dipped their toe in the wireless water via Verizon MVNO activity but this seems to have whetted their collective appetite for something more substantial. However given the presence of so many established mobile players in the US market, they seem to have concluded that their only hope of making a go of it is if they help each other out.

“At Charter, we have a tremendous opportunity in front of us in the wireless space,” said Charter CEO Tom Rutledge. “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’re looking forward to launching Xfinity Mobile to our customers in the coming weeks and are excited about this opportunity to work with Charter to explore ways we can make our respective wireless initiatives more efficient and cost effective,” said Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast. “Both of our companies have regional wireless businesses using the same 4G LTE network, and by working together our goal is to create even better experiences for our customers.”

There wasn’t much more to this broad statement of intent. Here are the areas they said they might collaborate over: creating common operating platforms; technical standards development and harmonization; device forward and reverse logistics; and emerging wireless technology platforms. There doesn’t seem to be any suggestion of building their own network.

In other Comcast news the company has just launched Xfinity xFi. Xfinity is its consumer broadband brand and xFi seems to be a new digital console that offers tools such as parental controls. The most compelling feature seems to be the ability to pause connectivity at the push of a button, which is tantamount to a parental WMD and could come in very handy for resolving domestic battles of wills.

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