RCN to offer wireless services

Following in the footsteps of competitor Comcast, RCN said yesterday it will begin reselling wireless phone service to customers in the Boston area, adding the fourth element of a quadruple play service bundle to its existing wireline, cable and broadband Internet products. While the service will be marketed under the RCN name, it will actually be provided by Bethesda, Md.-based MobilePro, and at least for the time being, customers will be billed separately by MobilePro.  According to an article in The Boston Globe, RCN hopes to differentiate its wireless plan by offering value-added services such as video content and remote control of digital video recorders (DVRs). RCN also expects to allow users to be able to use one phone for both wired and wireless calling. 

RCN is reading from the same playbook as Comcast, which announced late last year, in combination with several other cable giants, that it would roll out its own wireless service late this year using the Sprint Nextel network. In Comcast's case, though, the cableco didn't strike an MVNO relationship with the carrier, but rather a joint venture giving it equity in  customers they mutually acquire.  Seems like a much smarter move for the long term.

For more background on RCN's wireless play:
- read this report in The Boston Globe