American telecommunications conglomerate Comcast Corp have launched a new cloud-based service that allows users to control, manage and monitor its Wi-Fi usage. Comcast Corp which is the largest cable provider in the United States has launched the new services in an attempt to boost consumer loyalty in its broadband business.
The new Wi-Fi service has been entitled XFi and that enables users to set up their home Wi-Fi – and includes features such as turning off the Wi-Fi in children's devices at bedtime. In addition to this, users can also troubleshoot problems from an app on their mobile phones, website or television. The service is now available for free for up to 10 million of Comcast's Xfinity internet customers that have compatible Wi-Fi devices.
Part of Comcast's strategy is to improve Wi-Fi experience at a time when its customers are connecting a growing number of devices. The company which is headquartered has previously stated that by 2020 – Americans will have an average of 50 connected devices in their homes.
Comcast's plan is at a time when broadband subscribers are outnumbering video customers as more consumers drop their cable packages or never subscribe in the first place. In 2016, Comcast had 24.7 million high-speed internet customers and 22.5 million video customers, according to a filing.
On the company's post-earnings conference call, Chief Executive Brian Roberts said last month that "we have more broadband customers than we do video, and the rate of that growth is pretty exciting in broadband." Comcast's broadband business grew 10.1 percent in the first quarter ended March 31.
In creating XFi, the company hopes to reduce churn, or customer defections. Chris Satchell, chief product officer, said in an interview that half of the customer complaints Comcast receives about internet service are actually about Wi-Fi. "We want the connectivity in the home to be as good as connectivity to the home," Satchell said.