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Comcast May Challenge AT&T, Verizon with Mega Wi-Fi Network

Would you buy your smartphone from Comcast? That could be an option sooner than you think, as the nation's largest cable provider is apparently preparing a wireless network that would leverage more than a million deployed hotspots nationwide. And you could wind up saving a fair amount of dough in the process.

Customers wouldn't be left out in the cold outside of Wi-Fi range. According to an exclusive report from The Information, they would be able to stay connected via traditional cellular networks, thanks to a licensed spectrum deal with Verizon.

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The advantage for Comcast is that it would be able to bundle TV, home Internet and mobile service, similar to what Verizon is doing with its Fios service today. In addition, a separate report by New Street Research says that U.S. cable companies like Comcast could charge up to 25 percent less than traditional wireless carriers and still make a hefty profit.

This report comes as Comcast and Time Warner prepare to face lawmakers over their proposed merger. Executives will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee today to argue that the $45.2 billion deal won't give the combined entity too much power over what consumers pay for home broadband and TV, as well as what we watch.

It's possible that Comcast may point to this wireless initiative to highlight that it could soon have a wide array of new competitors, in additional to streaming media foes Netflix, Amazon and YouTube.

via The Information