Comcast soft launches bundled MVNO service

The Boston area is the first trial market for Comcast’s new bundled wireless service. I accidently become one of the first 20 MVNO customers after I called this morning to switch my Comcast broadband service to my new place in Brookline.

Comcast’s new offering consists of bundled cable, VOIP, and wireless. The VOIP offering includes free calls within the US, and international calling is cheap (9 cents per minute to Japan).

The wireless offering runs on the Sprint network and they are selling Sprint phones including the Katana and Fusic at similar prices to Sprint with a two-year data plan. The service also includes some extra perks including bundled text messaging, the ability to call-forward from cell to home phone to optimize on night/weekend minutes, and free calls from the cell phone to the home phone.

Perhaps most significant is that you can receive your home cable channels as video on your EV-DO phone in a Slingbox type service. It requires that you subscribe to the Comcast standard home cable package including CNN, ESPN, etc.

Overall, a great sales pitch. The customer service was excellent, and I spoke with an extremely knowledgeable person who clearly explained the pricing and features to me.

Comcast’s MVNO launch is pretty interesting in respect to recent speculation about Sprint as an acquisition target (Forbes and Kansas City Star). With Sprint’s recent subscriber troubles, and the millions of existing Comcast subscribers who want simple pricing on a mobile phone service, this seems like a natural fit.

I’ve been free of home phone and TV for the past year, but looks like I’ve been recaptured by consumer culture and what seems to be a good deal. Now, back to packing…

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