Comcast’s Smit calls business services ‘$25B opportunity,’ says Full Duplex coming in 24 months

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Comcast now has a timeline on when the it will be able to deliver symmetrical gigabit broadband service using Full Duplex technology. Image: Comcast

Identifying his company’s business services operation as a unit that produces $5.5 billion in annual revenue today, Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit says the division could be yielding around five times that bounty.

“We think that within the small and medium space its a $20 [billion] to $25 billion opportunity within our footprint,” Smit said Monday, speaking at the Deutsche Bank 2017 Media & Telecom Conference. (A transcript of Smit’s talk was provided by Seeking Alpha.)

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“In the small business segment, it’s about 70% of our revenue and 60% of our growth,” Smit added. “We think we have about a 40% market share there, so there still a lot of room and opportunity there. The medium-size business is about a $1 billion business for us right now. We think we have about a 20% market share and it's growing at the fastest rate of any of our segments.”

Smit added that there is also growth opportunity in the enterprise segment, for which Comcast only occupies about a 5% market share currently.

“It's going gangbusters,” he said. “We think it's another $13 [billion] to $15 billion opportunity within our footprint. And we just took on a small, fast food restaurant chain with about 6,000 locations. We took on a small retailer with about 13,000 locations and we’re Wi-Fi'ing up their properties and providing internet service. And if it doesn't fit in our footprint, we have cooperative agreements with other MSOs where they get their percentage of billing outside of our footprint. But we do the master bill, so the customer has just one bill to deal with."

Speaking on a wide variety of topics, Smit also put a timeline on Comcast’s ability to deliver symmetrical gigabit-speed broadband service, which will be enabled by CableLabs’ emerging Full Duplex technology. 

“We’ll get gigabit speed out of DOCSIS 3.1 rollout and then over the next 24 months, we’re going to do DOCSIS symmetrical—DOCSIS duplex,” he said.

Customers, he added, “will get symmetrical speeds, multi-gigabit speeds out into the network, leveraging our core HFC plant. We will continue to roll fiber deeper into the network, both with business services as well as with [residential], so we feel confident that our network is extendable and flexible, and we can continue to deliver higher speed.”

In early December, CableLabs revealed that field trials of Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 technology were about a year away.