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Comcast to launch new platform in push for business customers

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09/13/2017 | 08:33pm CEST
The NBC and Comcast logo are displayed on top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, formerly known as the GE building, in midtown Manhattan in New York

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Comcast Corp, the largest U.S. cable provider, on Wednesday launched a new business application and platform with faster connections in its push to boost sales to commercial customers as more consumers drop traditional cable services.

Comcast, like other pay-TV providers, is under pressure as viewing habits change and wants to leverage its infrastructure to grow in other ways.

Comcast sees a $40 billion to $50 billion market in selling services like voice, video and networking technologies to business customers, a segment traditionally dominated by telecom companies like AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc, said Bill Stemper, president of Comcast Business, in an interview.

He said the application, which runs on a software-based platform called ActiveCore, provides a faster, cheaper way to connect branch offices to a data center or business headquarters.

Business services was the fastest growing segment in Comcast's cable business last year, with revenue up 16.1 percent to $5.51 billion.

"We're constantly regarded as really the growth side of the business internally," Stemper said. "Therefore, investments are in line with driving that type of growth." The company has invested $6.2 billion in business services since 2010.

Comcast's customers have been mostly small and mid-size business, but the company wants to expand to larger enterprises, Stemper said.

Comcast has also been expanding its home security business and is turning to home automation.

While its video subscriber numbers have fared better than other pay-TV companies, Comcast last week estimated losing 100,000 to 150,000 subscribers in the third quarter in part due to heightened competition.

(The story corrects 3rd paragraph to show $40 billion to $50 billion represents potential total market, not potential revenue for Comcast)

(Reporting by Anjali Athavaley; Editing by Richard Chang)

By Anjali Athavaley

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