Roberts says Comcast will 'experiment' with wireless, says Steve Jobs put him up to it

Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) continues to offer confirmation that it's looking to compete in the mobile video market alongside Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: T) with a pending wireless launch, and Comcast CEO says the company has Steve Jobs to thank for that. 

The late (NASDAQ: AAPL) Apple founder "told me he couldn't understand why we didn't put Wi-Fi into every cable box," Roberts said, speaking to Business Insider Editor-in-Chief Henry Blodgett at the pub's conference in New York earlier this morning. (The event was covered by Variety and other media.)

"I went home and said, 'What's Wi-Fi?" Roberts added. 

Without offering much detail, Roberts said Comcast will "experiment" with a wireless service, addressing speculation that began in November when it was revealed that Comcast would act on a MVNO licensing option with Verizon. 

Noting that up to 75 percent of data transmitted via the Internet is ultimately sent to users via Wi-Fi, Roberts added: "There's nobody better to innovate than the in-home provider."

Roberts also said that Comcast's business services unit has made a number of recent deals to "backhaul data traffic" from wireless networks to offices. He added that Comcast would have "more to talk about next year."

Roberts' comments came about 24 hours after Comcast CFO Mike Cavanagh, speaking at another business conference, also hinted about the MSO's wireless plans. 

Charter's (NASDAQ: CHTR) CEO Tom Rutledge offered a similarly vague outlook Monday on the company's plans for mobile. "Ultimately the mobile platform is something that we're going to want to reach to," he said, without providing details. "We do want to have the customer relationship when people are moving."

For more:
- read this Variety story

Related articles:
Charter, Comcast hint at mobile activities, but details remain scarce
With Verizon MVNO and 10M hotspots, Comcast poised to fight for wireless share
Verizon exec hints that Comcast, others will execute on MVNO deal

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