Comcast, already heavily into WiFi, is believed to be testing mobile small cells but its overall wireless future is unclear after the untimely demise of its 4G venture with Verizon.
Verizon Wireless revealed last week that its wireless deal with three US cable operators has been terminated. Comcast had been using Verizon as cellular connectivity for its Xfinity service. (See Verizon, MSOs Kill Wireless JV and Comcast Unveils High-Speed Wireless Gateway.)
Vendors at the Ethernet & SDN Expo and MobileCON trade shows told Light Reading that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has been testing small cells (so these conversations took place before the Verizon news became public knowledge).
Comcast, however, won't confirm any work with small cells. "This is something that we are not discussing at this time," a spokeswoman for the company told us.
In fact, the operator isn't saying anything about future wireless plans right now either. "That is something that I cannot confirm or discuss," the spokeswoman said when asked about role of wireless in Comcast's plans.
Meanwhile, it remains clear that Comcast is big on WiFi. The cable giant has now installed at least 60,000 hotspots across the US. (See Comcast Spreads WiFi Love.)
Startup Benu describes itself as a company that "provides fixed and mobile operators with innovative solutions for augmenting their networks with small cells and WiFi." (See Comcast, Moto Invest in CMAP Startup.)
So while the future is uncertain for Comcast's wireless ambitions, it's clear that the MSO still has some mobile irons in the fire.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading