Mobile Services and Cable TV Are Unexpected Allies
By AMY CHOZICK September 23, 2012
BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - Tucked amid rows of office cubicles at the sprawling Verizon Wireless headquarters here and hidden behind a locked door sit the company's best kept retail secrets.
The mock store looks like a Verizon Wireless retail outlet right down to the signs for the iPhone 5 and racks of mobile accessories. But on one wall, an experimental display of tablets and smartphones labeled "Home Services" offers Verizon customers a new service: cable TV.
The display is a little-known result of Verizon's $3.9 billion purchase of spectrum from Bright House Networks, Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable that the Federal Communications Commission approved last month. While most attention has focused on how the purchase of unused airwaves will help Verizon expand its new fourth-generation wireless network, a less publicized result is that cable companies can now use Verizon's retail presence to sell cable packaged with phone and wireless service.
So in mock store displays to be introduced across the country next month, Comcast's Xfinity cable service app appears on an "attract loop" that plays on a plasma television. Verizon customers will be able to browse television listings on a Verizon Samsung tablet and learn to set their DVR remotely using Xfinity's service. "Verizon Wireless & Xfinity, Better Together," an in-store sign says.
..***** Moderator's Note *****
I don't get it. If Verizon is still trying to offer TV through fiber optic, why would they be giving retail space to Comcast? Is this change signalling the erection of a tombstone over Verizon's media ambitions?
Bill Horne Moderator