by Carlo Longino

It's Hard For Customers To Care About Comcast Services That Don't Exist

from the cart-before-the-horse dept

Despite shelling out a large amount of cash for wireless spectrum and forming a joint venture with Sprint, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts says that he's not very interested in mobile phone service as part of the oft-publicized "quadruple play". He says mobile service isn't something people are "lusting after in bundling", adding that while some cool applications should come out of cable companies' work in wireless within the next 15 years, it won't be in 2007. Roberts' statements are a little strange, given the company's investment in wireless, but they seem to illustrate the current reality of the supposed triple- or quadruple-play: that they're often nothing more than the convenience of a single bill. Granted, consumers are receptive to that benefit and the discounts it usually brings, but combining a number of services does offer a carrier the opportunity to launch applications that take advantage of them. Roberts seems to be saying that Comcast is going to let the market come to them, rather than making any effort to drive the market forward, when it comes to truly bundling in wireless in a way beyond bringing it onto a single bill. There are a number of rather obvious services that come to mind, like remote DVR scheduling and mobile email, that other cable and satellite operators are already offering that can be attractive to some users. It's easy for Roberts to say that consumers don't care about bundled mobile phone service, but perhaps that's because Comcast hasn't given them anything to actually care about.

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  • identicon
    yep, 10 Jan 2007 @ 8:17pm

    and again

    what would be nice to see is a broadband phone that gets live streamed tv, with about 400 channels, and its all instant, no buffering like you get with cingular. Like comcast digiital cable but on your phone, with options like "on demand"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    misanthropic humanist, 10 Jan 2007 @ 8:26pm

    no ideas

    In a market where there are more permutations of possibilities than you can shake a stick at this conservatism seems very odd indeed. Maybe Roberts has gone out of touch. Maybe they just don't have any ideas. Maybe they're too cautious. After shelling out for that bandwidth and licencing it seems suicidal, like hiring the most expensive hooker on the block and then settling for a nice converstaion with tea and biscuits.

    My instinct says it's the first reason, they just don't have the vision.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2007 @ 8:28pm

    that would be perfect with the iphone because it has a screen meant for watching.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Eric Samson, 11 Jan 2007 @ 12:14am


    In Canada, specifically in Quebec, we've got Videotron going for the quadruple-bill approach (phone/mobile/cable/internet)... they offer very little in the way of added-value, and seem to focus pretty much exclusively on the Let's Get Rid Of Bell Bills phenomenon... they're not even pushing the single-bill approach anymore, just surfing on the wave of bad customer support Bell Canada's reputation has gotten in the past few years.

    Pretty much the only thing they offer is free access to web streaming of some of their TV shows (they also own the most-watched TV station in Quebec) for Videotron cable-internet subscribers... but it's seen more as a 'perk' than as a real incentive to subscribe.

    I'd love to see more companies trying real hard to get more subscribers, rather than just waiting on them to get tired of the crummy service they get from the competitor in order to jump ship and join the 'new' guy - only to get tired of the crummy service they get with them, hopping back to the old guy and desperately hoping they improved. Quebec (and Canada, really) really, really needs a third player in the field.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bryan, 11 Jan 2007 @ 3:00am

    keep your eyes on verizon.. we have big plans ahead.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    I hate cable, 11 Jan 2007 @ 3:49am

    Comcast offerings

    Why bother if its anything like their cable service they will just jack the rate every 8 months same as they do to the cable bill.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      rahrens (profile), 11 Jan 2007 @ 4:20am

      Re: Comcast offerings

      Yeah, and that's why we just dumped Comcast for Verizon FIOS TV! Got tired of them dropping channels we like for foreign language channels we don't, then jacking the price up.

      Now we have 200 channels vs. 130, plus DVR, with a box on each TV for less money than Comcast used to charge. (including most of the channels Comcast dumped!)

      Viva la competition!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DKP, 11 Jan 2007 @ 8:28am

    for 100X tthe cost see number 9

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Matt, 11 Jan 2007 @ 8:49am

    Comcast service...

    ... or lack of same is what keeps me from trusting them with anything more complicated than basic cable and internet connection.

    Their internet servers (email, web hosting and especially DNS) are so buggy, that I use alternatives as much as a can, and the service drops so often that I would never even think of giving up my wired telephone for their VOIP service.

    Then again, I'm an old timer who keeps one plain old Bell telephone hooked up as a "security blanket", so at least one phone would keep working during power outages.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    tgolstch, 11 Jan 2007 @ 10:52am

    comcast is irrelevant

    How will comcast survive FTTP? If Verizon offers TV ala carte,
    20 Mbit download for internet and the right price structure,
    in about 5 years there won't be a comcast to worry about.
    The only question that remains is when will verizon be in place nationally. I am not real fond of verizon, but without a magic trick how can comcast survive?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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