Comcast Corp. is on the verge of selling wireless phone service thanks to a partnership with the nation's largest mobile operator.
The Philadelphia-based company plans to begin selling Verizon Wireless products in four markets early next year, Reuters reported, citing Comcast Cable President Neil Smit at a UBS investor conference.
Another cable TV giant, Time Warner Cable, plans to begin selling existing Verizon products in bundled packages almost immediately, the report said, citing TWC Chief Financial Officer Irene Esteves.
Last week Verizon Wireless announced a $3.6 billion agreement to purchase 122 spectrum licenses from a joint venture among Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. The companies also announced several commercial agreements that will enable the cable operators and Verizon Wireless to sell each other's products and services.
But Smit said Comcast will continue to compete with Verizon Communications – Verizon Wireless' parent company – in markets where Verizon offers FiOS TV and Internet service, Reuters reported.
U.S. cable TV companies mostly have stayed away from selling mobile-phone services, but lack of a wireless offering arguably puts them at a disadvantage against the likes of AT&T and Verizon, which can offer the so-called quadruple package of landline voice, wireless, Internet and television.
Cable TV operator Cox Communications stopped selling wireless last month but said it would continue providing the service until March 30, 2012. The Atlanta-based company said its decision to discontinue wireless was "based on the lack of wireless scale necessary to compete in the marketplace, the acceleration of competitive 4G networks as well as the inability to access iconic wireless devices."