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Comcast Business Beefs Up Managed WiFi Via Deep Blue Buy

Jeff Baumgartner
5/1/2019
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Expanding its expertise in managed WiFi and adding more commercial-class customers to its base, Comcast Business announced Wednesday that it has acquired Deep Blue Communications.

Founded in 2004, Deep Blue provides managed WiFi network planning, engineering and installations across several industries, including hotels/hospitality, retail stores, boat marinas and entertainment venues. In the hospitality market, Deep Blue has deals with several major hotel chains, including Marriott, Wyndham, Hyatt, Best Western, Choice Hotels and Omni Hotels.

Financial terms were not disclosed. The Albany Business Review reported in March that Latham, NY-based Deep Blue had about $38 million in revenues last year and employed 125 people.

Comcast Business has not announced how many Deep Blue employees will be coming on board, or announced what role Deep Blue CEO Brian Epstein will have in the wake of the acquisition. While Comcast Business and Deep Blue share customers across some verticals, the companies were not partners prior to the deal, according to an official.

Deep Blue works with a wide range of technology partners, including Ruckus Networks (now part of CommScope), Nomadix (Internet access gateways), Zyxel, Aruba Networks (part of HP Enterprise), Cisco Systems, ElevenOS, Meraki and Juniper Networks.

Per an FAQ posted by Deep Blue about the acquisition, there are no planned changes to pricing for current customers and no anticipated impact on services.

Why this matters
In addition to raw connectivity, WiFi has become an important part of the Comcast Business portfolio and the unit's ambitions to deliver managed wireless services to hotels, retail outlets and sporting venues. Acquiring Deep Blue will give Comcast Business more technical expertise and customers in this area, and build on the 2016 launch of its "WiFi Pro" offering.

Broadening its managed WiFi capabilities should also help Comcast Business to move upmarket and cut more deeply into the hide of the telcos. After focusing on small and midsized businesses, the unit is also starting to focus on enterprise-level, Fortune 1000 customers and stoke growth for a segment of the company that pulled down $1.89 billion in revenues in Q1 2019, up 9.5% versus the year-ago quarter.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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VP,CTO54087
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VP,CTO54087,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/14/2019 | 9:12:52 AM
MSO to WiFi, How Deep Does it Get?
Comcast is a proactive MSO.  Wondering how far behind  is the rest of the pack.  Hospitality is a strategic choice due to ubiquitous urban presence.  It would make sense if this is a 5G off-load play. Is this Deep Blue Acquisition by Comcast an industry trend?  How deep into the enterprise network edge do MSOs want to get?  
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