Comcast confirms creation of new mobile division

Comcast has confirmed a series of executive moves, including a promotion for Greg Butz, executive vice president of sales and marketing, who will now head up a new Comcast Mobile division.

Originally reported by Multichannel News, Butz, who formally headed up business development for Comcast Cellular Communications in the '90s, will report directly to Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit.

Comcast has said it is exercising an MVNO deal with Verizon that will allow the MSO to resell the carrier's mobile service. Smit has said Comcast is still in the "test-and-learn mode" of development for its wireless service but reports have suggested Comcast could begin limited mobile service trials later this year.

The appointment of Butz to lead the new Comcast Mobile comes after reports surfaced earlier this year regarding Comcast listing jobs for execs with mobile experience and mobile network engineers.

Comcast has an extensive public Wi-Fi network it can leverage in an MVNO offering but the MSO has said that, of the 14 million hotspots it boasts, the "overwhelming majority" are home Wi-Fi hotspots that allow for guest usage. As Light Reading pointed out in a recent report on total cable industry Wi-Fi hotspots, very little information is available on how much those home Wi-Fi hotspots are accessed by other customers.

In addition to potentially supplementing its Wi-Fi footprint with Verizon's cellular network for a wireless offering, Comcast could be seeking low-band spectrum in upcoming auctions. The MSO has registered to bid in the FCC's 600 MHz incentive auction, which will offer up to 126 MHz of coveted low-band spectrum.

In addition to creating Comcast Mobile and promoting Butz, Comcast also confirmed two other executive moves. John Schanz, Comcast's chief network officer, will be moving to an advisory role with Comcast's investment firm Atairos. Tony Werner, president of technology and product for Comcast Cable, will assume Schanz's responsibilities.

Also moving, Comcast Cable CFO Cathy Avgiris will now serve as the interim global risk officer and work as a consultant through 2017 for the MSO. Steven Croney, senior vice president of financial planning for Comcast, will take over as Cable CFO.

For more:
- read this Multichannel News article

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