Comcast has announced its new xFi Advanced Gateway modem offering customers, who subscribe to the company’s Gigabit Internet package, a download speed of up to one gigabit per second and upload speeds of around 35 megabits per second. The Comcast modem can also be used as a WiFi router connecting the devices at home for speedy connections and interact with smart home devices such as the Nest thermostat or Philips Hue lightbulbs.

Comcast modem
By Comcast [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

New Comcast modem – for the gigabit future

The Comcast modem aims to simplify connecting, setting and using the Internet. The router would help in setting up WiFi, change and customize the settings, make profiles and so on. The modem also comes with a Bluetooth Low Energy component, and stand-alone radios for Zigbee and Thread IoT (Internet of Things) devices.

In addition, if parents want to restrict the use of WiFi for kids beyond a specific time, the xFi app can do it for them easily.

“I want your parents to stop phoning you about their internet connection,” Fraser Stirling, Comcast’s SVP of Hardware Development told Engadget.

Stirling stated that the technology runs on MU-MIMO (multi-user, multi-input, multi-output) to ensure that “the xFi Advanced Gateway doesn’t just deliver great speed to one device, but because of the spatial diversity built into the design, it can simultaneously power dozens of devices without sacrificing performance on any of them.”

According to Comcast, the gigabit connection pricing would vary with the market. For instance, in New York and Philadelphia, the company offers speeds of 1000 Mbps at $79.99 per month for the initial 12 months after which the price increases to $104.95 per month. Add to it $10 per month to rent the modem.

A design that you won’t be ashamed to show

Apart from the performance, Comcast has designed the modem in a way that it blends with the aesthetics of the house, rather than looking like an ugly device in the middle of the house. Talking of the design, Stirling said the idea was to create desirability.

“We want people to come around to your house and say, ‘What is that?’ Customers are ambassadors for the product, and a lot of that comes from industrial design,” the executive said.

Stirling stated that they cannot say if they have created a “hot” enough router, but it definitely is something that users would not be ashamed of.

According to Comcast’s Chief Product Officer, Chris Satchell, the company collaborated with partners on the design and other aspects in the past, but they have gone solo on this router to ensure better control on every part including quick resolution of issues, which could otherwise stretch to several months.

“We can’t leave that future up to anybody else because it’s too important to serve our customers with what really is the oxygen of the home in WiFi,” Satchell said.

Comcast is also planning to launch a mesh-based networking system later this month. Unlike the Gateway, it won’t be a centralized unit, rather, it would include two or three satellite units covering the entire home with mesh-like coverage.