Blog Post

Comcast Starts Selling Wireless Broadband Service

[qi:gigaom_icon_4G] Updated with more service related details : Comcast (s CMCSA), the largest U.S. cable company and one of the country’s biggest broadband service providers, says it has started to sell a new wireless broadband service called High-Speed 2go across cities in its cable footprint. Here are some facts:

  • Comcast will offer its own wireless laptop cards and the service will not have any voice component. The card is free with a 1 year contract or it can be purchased for $99 and customers can go month to month. If you switch from a phone company, Comcast will waive off the $99 it charges for the card.
  • It’s a combination of Clearwire’s WiMAX-based wireless broadband and Sprint’s (s s) 3G EVDO data. The nationwide laptop device automatically switches between available 4G and 3G networks. On the 3G service (provided by Sprint) there is a 5 GB amount of data usage included in the plan. The 4G service will follow Clearwire’s terms of service.
  • Comcast High-Speed 2go Metro service will use a 4G-only data card giving customers the 4G service in their metro coverage area. 
  • The service is available today only in Portland, but will be available in Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia and more cities by end of 2009.
  • Consumers can pay $69.99 a month for a “fast pack” national offering that buys them unlimited wireless data and a 12 Mbps home broadband offering. A metro-only service will cost $49.99 a month.
  • High-Speed 2go will also be sold to small-to-mid-sized businesses through the Comcast Business Services sales teams.

I think telephone companies will now start to respond more aggressively with their own 3G offerings, possibly lowering prices, which is not such a bad thing from a consumer perspective. I have many other questions — I am waiting, for example, for Comcast to tell me if there are any bandwidth caps as part of this new deal.

I like that Comcast, which had previously invested in Clearwire, is launching this service but its chances are going to be determined by how aggressively it’s available nationwide. I wish it was being launched in more than a one token city. I think that by the time Comcast and Clearwire get their national act together, we can most certainly expect the likes of Verizon (s vz) to launch its own 4G wireless broadband services.

22 Responses to “Comcast Starts Selling Wireless Broadband Service”

  1. It appears this has moved forward because Atlanta & Nashville are on line now. I’m signed up as a dealer so we’ll see how this pans out.

    Anyone interested on the service or more information can contact me via [email protected](dot)com or follow the progress at “4GComcast(dot)com” or better yet stay with the mother ship at “UBWEBTV(dot)com” where all this technology is merging into a sensible set of services we can all use.

    It will be awhile before this is all over the states. Cities are popping up on line faster than expected. There is real value in this. A game changer that is real not like the MLM scam zero1 tried to pull which was referred to in a post about unlimited broadband available July 1st.

  2. Jesse Kopelman

    Hopefully Comcast will run this better than Pivot, their reselling of Sprint services they launched 2 years ago or so. Very little advertising. Nonsensical market by market rollout. Seems like they are off to a bad start already with HS2G, as why launch in only Portland when you could have done other markets simultaneously?

    • Samsonian

      This is already off to a much better start.

      Pivot was basically re-branded Sprint service + $10-$15 a month for little to no value add. It was bound to fail.

      The equivalent standalone WiMAX service from Clearwire is $50 a month. The equivalent standalone national 3G service is $60 a month from all big carriers. And the 3G/4G service from Sprint is $80 a month. Comcast is offering cable HSI, WiMAX for $50 ($73 after promo) a month and cable HSI, WiMAX, and 3G for $70 ($93 after promo) a month. This is a good deal, and Comcast will market it and push it to their customers.

      • Jesse Kopelman

        I’m not questioning if it’s a good deal. I’m questioning how well they’ll market it. Why’d they only launch in Portland, when they could have launched in other bigger cities like Baltimore simultaneously? Why haven’t they started to advertise this as a coming product to their current customers nationwide? Comcast has a very poor history with this sort of thing, not just Pivot. They continue to mishandle their Tivo offering — still not available in large markets like DC. They had HD STB available for at least 6 months before they even started to advertise the service to current customers. Same thing for DVR.

  3. starting tomorrow July 1 nationwide rollout of the new broadband technology

    500 kilobits out of a edge technology, up to 20 gigs on 3G

    NO-Cap’s truly Unlimited voice and data

    will post the official announcement tomorrow

  4. What’s the deal here? Brighthouse was part of this deal to get Clearwire going, and yet FL cities are not even mentioned for getting Wimax ANY TIME in the future?!?!?! I’m not going to live and die by whether I can get wifi in downtown tampa, but it’d be nice to know bh actually cared..or Comcast i guess.

  5. Doug Mohney

    Comcast and others are reselling Clear’s (and Sprint’s) service under their own brands/bundles..

    Trying to compare Wi-Fi with WiMax is an apples and oranges comparison on so many levels it isn’t even funny. And trying to cite Verizon as offering a better Wi-Fi offering is humorous, given the company took one run of it when everyone was Wi-Fi crazzzzzy … and promptly shut everything down when the other players went bankrupt.

  6. This is some pretty aggressive pricing from Comcast, as a 3G modem form the carriers can run $59.99 a month for 3.6 Mbps (max). $70 for home, WiMax, and nationwide 3G is actually a pretty solid deal if you’re in Portland and are in need of this kind of thing.

  7. Is comcast getting serious about wireless? Is there a comprehensive wireless offering in the works(even if it is in the form of a MVNO)?

    Or Is Comcast doing a wait and watch Clear’s success mode?