Comcast is starting what now?
Comcast ($CMCSA) is launching a mobile phone division today, allegedly titled Xfinity Mobile. Along with home phone, internet, and TV service, Comcast’s Xfinity customers can also get cell phone/smart phone service through the communications provider.
Did Comcast build a bunch of cell towers around the country?
No. Instead of installing their own infrastructure, Comcast will pay to use Verizon’s existing cell network. This essentially means that Comcast’s phone service is basically Verizon. Comcast will operate as a mobile virtual network operator, not unlike Simple Mobile, Straight Talk Wireless, and Univision (yes, the TV network). The company will also offer access to millions of nationwide WiFi hotspots to sweeten the deal.
Who is this service for?
According to The Wall Street Journal, only existing Comcast subscribers can sign up for Xfinity Mobile. You essentially have to have home internet, phone, and/or cable to become an Xfinity Mobile customer. This could potentially attract customers away from AT&T, Verizon, and other major mobile providers, while making Comcast millions more this year alone.
What does it mean for shareholders?
If Comcast can become a leading mobile phone provider without having to set up their own network of cell towers, it could mean extra heaps of profit in the future. Should Xfinity Mobile become too popular, however, relying on Verizon’s existing network might not be enough for the company. This would force them to shell out billions to build a competing network, something shareholders might be too happy with. Of course, this latter point is mere speculation, but not impossible.
Jeff Bezos Sells Stock…For Science!
Jeff Bezos also owns Blue Origin, a private space travel company. Blue Origin builds rockets, rocket engines, and other things that get shot into space. (Yes, this is real, and not science-fiction.) Space travel, however, is rather expensive, so to fund Blue Origin, Bezos will sell his own personal shares of Amazon to fund the company, $1 billion at a time.
Why is Jeff Bezos so intent on building Blue Origin?
Space travel for both tourism and commercial purposes is incredibly lucrative. Wealthy people are willing to pay incredible amounts of money to go to space, and Blue Origin can eventually make that happen. On the commercial side of things, mining asteroids will eventually be possible and worth trillions (with a T). This would make Bezos worth much more than $78 billion.