Comcast, Liberty Global plan overseas Wi-Fi roaming
| 13 September 2014
Comcast Cable and Liberty Global have announced an agreement to allow users to access each otherís Wi-Fi networks, creating an international Wi-Fi roaming access agreement that will be in place in various countries by 2015.
Comcast has more than three million Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots in the U.S., while Liberty Global has more than 2.5 million Wi-Fi home spots under the Wi-Free and WifiSpots names in various countries in Europe, such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, Poland and Switzerland.
For both Comcast and Liberty Global, out-of-home Wi-Fi is an important internet service benefit that allows customers to stream video and otherwise extend the value of their in-home broadband subscription. And, the agreement gives many of the 11 million Americans visiting Europe and the 12 million Europeans visiting the United States each year a free alternative to cellular data roaming.
"This is our first step in bringing global Wi-Fi connectivity to our customers," said Tom Nagel, senior vice president of strategic initiatives for Comcast Cable. "We are excited to be working with Liberty Global and see this partnership as a great opportunity to further expand our Wi-Fi footprint and offer fast and secure wireless broadband service to our customers, not only while they are here in the United States, but also while they are traveling overseas."
"We are delighted to join forces with Comcast to begin building worldwide Wi-Fi connectivity and we hope that this will create interest from other cable operators to join us," said Balan Nair, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Liberty Global. "We are offering Wi-Fi service in a growing number of countries across Europe and are excited to be able to offer our European customers a valuable and innovative new service in the United States on Xfinity WiFi."
Comcast and Liberty Global plan to trial the shared Wi-Fi service later in 2014 and offer it on a wide-scale in 2015