Comcast (CMCSA - Get Report)  , the country's largest Internet provider, is planning to debut a wireless offering in mid-2017, CEO Brian Roberts said on Tuesday at a New York investor conference.

Roberts wouldn't say exactly when Comcast would make the service available but he emphasized that it would integrate the company's other services, most notably its pay-TV platform, using Verizon's  (VZ - Get Report)  wireless spectrum to operate.

"We're excited to be working toward that," Roberts said the Goldman Sachs Communications Conference in lower Manhattan. "We believe its value-added to our customers. That's what we're working on."
Comcast's plans to enter the wireless market have been the source of speculation for years. The Philadelphia-based company, he says, views wireless as a means to increase its broadband-related sales, reduce customer turnover of its 28 million pay-TV subscribers at a time when there are fewer and fewer homes in need of an Internet connection. The country is 70% to 75% broadband-penetrated, he said.
And though Comcast has 15 million wi-fi hotspots, Roberts said the company has grappled with how to get more out of its broadband network. "That's been a burning question," he said.
The launch will occur sometime in mid-2017, though he was quick to emphasize not in early-2017. Comcast plans to release a "wifi product,"  by exercising its wireless spectrum rights with Verizon Wireless. "We'll have more to say next year," Roberts said. "There's still a lot to do."
Comcast said it would build on its current deal with  Netflix ( NFLX - Get Report) , and negotiate with other standalone video streaming services about integrating their offerings on the company's popular X1 set-top box, which is widely considered to be the best offering of its kind in pay-TV. In a deal announced in July, Comcast will make Netflix available on the home page of its X1 box, also allowing users to purchase subscriptions through Comcast.
Roberts said other video platforms could be added apart from Netflix but wouldn't name names.
"We're in discussions about doing that - absolutely," he said. "Right now, we have a nice template and hopefully others will be out there as well. We've made a conscious decision to aggregate other people's content."
Netflix already has similar arrangements with Apple ( AAPL - Get Report) , Roku and Alphabet's ( GOOGL - Get Report) Chromecast. But the deal with Comcast, the country's largest pay-TV operator, is likely to make Netflix an even more central part of the average home's entertainment offerings. Just how this could effect Hulu, which is planning to launch an Internet-based multi-channel video platform early next year, is unclear. Hulu is jointly-owned by Comcast, Disney, Fox and more recently Time Warner.
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Comcast's aggressive rollout of its X1 box, which Roberts said would reach 50% of its customer base by the end of 2016, was integral in making it possible for the company the ability to make the Netflix deal, he said.
"We didn't have a large enough base of consumers until now using the X1 box," Robert said. "We're going to get that out this fall."
Seated on a stage in a downtown ballroom, Roberts demonstrated the X1 box for the conference room of investors, showing how its recently announced deal with Netflix will look once the integrated service is made available later this fall.
Not only is the user able to access Netflix from the X1's home page and use its voice-activated featured to get it, Netflix's programing is also combined with Comcast's on-demand offerings. Using the series Scandal as an example, Roberts showed how a user would be able to access its current season on Comcast and its previous seasons on Netflix from the same screen.
The Netflix deal came after negotiations that involved both Roberts and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, he said.
"Reed Hastings and myself spent some time together," Roberts said. "We already had tremendous respect for each others organizations though we occasionally didn't see eye to eye on everything. I give him a lot of credit for helping it happen. Working through this, the companies have gotten a lot closer."
Shares of Comcast have climbed 17% this year, on par with Time Warner ( TWX) , and well ahead of Disney ( DIS - Get Report) and 21st Century Fox ( FOXA) , which have both lost 12% in 2016.

EDITORS' NOTE: This story was originally published at 9:17 am and has been updated to include additional comments from Roberts.