Comcast’s foray into the U.S. wireless market appears to be gaining a scant but symbolic foothold in the industry.
Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the data, reported that about 200,000 people signed up for the cable giant’s Xfinity Mobile program since its May debut.
Although that figure is miniscule compared to the leading wireless carriers, analysts suggested that the growth of a new, low-cost provider could put additional pressure on industry giants — who are already locked in price battles.
Xfinity Mobile was rolled out earlier this year with some of the lowest rates among wireless providers. The service was initially limited to Comcast TV and internet customers, but those users could pay $12 per GB of data or $65 per month for an unlimited data plan. Those enrolled in premium Comcast packages could pay just $45 per month for unlimited plans.
The Comcast service utilizes Verizon’s cell towers under an MVNO agreement signed by those companies several years ago, but the company reportedly anticipates that those cellular costs will not be overly burdensome because most data is transmitted using WiFi — including Comcast’s 18 million WiFi hotspots.
The company introduced the service as consumers increasingly drop conventional cable TV. Although the program could help keep more cable viewers enrolled, it could also become its own revenue stream.
Comcast’s current wireless enrollment is already approaching 1 percent of the nation’s 25 million wireless customers, and Bloomberg noted that executives believe Xfinity Mobile will become profitable once it hits a “low- to mid-single-digit” share of that market.