Comcast Boots Up Wi-Fi in California

2012-09-28 11:43:48

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s wireless broadband network has reached the left coast after the MSO lit up its Xfinity WiFi service in several cities in Northern and Central California, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Fresno, Monterey, Santa Maria and Chico.

Comcast, which uses the service set identifier (SSID) "xfinitywifi," is providing access to the wireless network for free as a perk for its cable modem subscribers. Comcast is also offering non-subs two complimentary 60-minute sessions through the end of the year. The MSO also sells access: $2.95 per hour, $7.95 per day, or $19.95 per week. Comcast is also pitching longer-term access, including a six-month pass for $29.99.

Comcast said it's already installed and activated a "few thousand" hot spots in California and expects to install more in the Golden State throughout the year. Here's the orbital view of Comcast's current Wi-Fi footprint in California.

It was not immediately known which vendors are participating in Comcast's California deployment, but Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Ruckus Wireless Inc. have been getting the lion's share of cable Wi-Fi wins lately.

At this phase of the deployment cycle in California, Comcast says it's using outdoor Wi-Fi units from Ericsson (nee BelAir Networks), and Cisco modems and BelAir/Ericsson routers for indoor Wi-Fi deployments in small- and medium-sized business locations. But the company also says that it's always evaluating new products, so more vendors may be added to the mix as deployments expand
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