Telecoms giant Comcast’s US launch of its Now brand to include prepaid phone and internet plans is “opportunely timed,” according to research and analysis company GlobalData.

Now Internet will provide more reliability at a lower cost than fixed wireless options, while Now Mobile will offer a new prepaid service that includes 5G data combined with public WiFi hotspots, according to Comcast. 

“Comcast’s decision to roll out a holistic prepaid connectivity proposition may be the definition of opportunely timed,” according to Charles Garrett, principal analyst at GlobalData.

In June 2023, the White House divided $42bn among the nation’s 50 states in a plan to make access to high-speed broadband universal by 2030.

Comcast is the largest home internet service provider in the US, holding a significant market share. The launch marks the first time a US operator has assembled a prepaid portfolio that includes home internet, mobile, and pay-TV. 

However, Garrett believes Comcast is entering the prepaid wireless space just as it is contracting. 

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“The US prepaid wireless space is not only incredibly volatile these days, with Verizon, AT&T, and Dish registering a combined 547,000 prepaid subscriber losses in Q4 2023, but the space itself is shrinking,” said Garrett.

GlobalData’s March 2024 US mobile broadband forecast predicts a market size of 4.5 million prepaid wireless subscribers in the US by 2028.

Garrett added: “Consequently, while Comcast is wise to broaden its target market into the value-oriented offerings – and wiser still to do that at a moment when so many consumers are scrutinising their monthly spend closer than ever – it’s also jumping into a space that is contracting.”