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Comcast bows faster gateway; doubles speeds on 2 data tiers

Fri, 04/26/2013 - 12:52pm
Mike Robuck

Comcast has leveraged MoCA 2.0 and the 5.0 GHz frequency on its new wireless gateway that features speeds of up to 270 Mbps.

Comcast said its new wireless gateway was the first to use the 5.0 GHz radio frequency. The new Xfinity Wireless Gateway that was announced today is being made by Cisco for now, but other vendors will be added down the road. Comcast has previously used gateways from Technicolor, Arris and SMC Networks.

According to research by Allion USA, Comcast’s new gateway more than tripled the speeds of competing wireless gateways from AT&T and Verizon. In addition to MoCA 2.0, the  Xfinity Wireless Gateway features include: a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem; a dual-band 802.11n wireless router with concurrent 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz radio frequencies; and VoIP adapter.  While the 270 Mbps was from real-world tests, the theoretical speed is up to 450 Mbps. 

comcast gateway

In a blog post on Comcast’s site, Rob Slinkard, senior vice president, product management, communications and data services, wrote that while data tiers have increased their speeds over the years, thanks in part to DOCSIS 3.0 deployments, in-home wireless gateways aren’t always capable of passing those faster speeds around a home. Coupled with the plethora of devices in subscribers homes, an inefficient wireless gateway can be a chokepoint in subscribers’ home networks.

“Today we are launching a new device that solves this problem and creates the fastest in-home wireless network available anywhere in the U.S.,” Slinkard wrote. “The new Xfinity Wireless Gateway includes the 5.0 GHz radio frequency. This new frequency is being used by many of the latest consumer electronic products (like the iPhone 5, iPad 4 and Kindle Fire HD) and results in better speed and performance from connected devices. 

“It also has been built to a new standard (MoCA 2.0), which allows the device to leverage a home’s existing coaxial cable network to create a faster and more efficient network of connected devices within the home.”

The lease cost on the new gateway is $7 per month, and its currently available to triple play customers that are using Comcast's advanced X1 platform. The new gateway made its national debut today and is being rolled out on a market-by-market basis. 

Last year Comcast updated its wireless gateway lineup with a new model from Technicolor. The gateway that Technicolor built for Comcast, which was known internally as “Dory,” was available to Comcast customers who subscribed to its Performance, Blast, Extreme 50 and Extreme 105 data tiers and was leased to customers for $7 a month.

Comcast also announced today it had boosted speeds nationwide for two of its most popular data tiers, Blast and Extreme 50. The Blast tier increased from 25 Mbps to 50 Mbps downstream and from 4 Mbps to 10 Mbps upstream. Extreme 50 went from 50 Mbps to 105 Mbps downstream and from 15 Mbps to 20 Mbps upstream.

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