Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Comcast and Charter to explore national wireless market cooperation

Regional cable operators Comcast and Charter have announced an agreement to explore potential opportunities for operational cooperation in their respective wireless businesses to help accelerate and enhance each company's ability to address the national wireless marketplace.

Under the agreement, the companies, which have each separately established mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) reseller agreements with Verizon Wireless, will explore cooperation in a number of potential operational areas in the wireless space, including: creating common operating platforms; technical standards development and harmonisation; device forward and reverse logistics; and emerging wireless technology platforms.

The efficiencies created are intended to help deliver greater choice, new products and competitive prices for customers across their respective service footprints. In addition, Comcast and Charter have agreed to work only with each other with respect to national mobile network operators through potential commercial arrangements, including MVNOs and other transactions in the wireless industry, for a period of one year.

Regarding the agreement, Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast, said, "(Comcast) is launching Xfinity Mobile in the coming weeks and… (will) work with Charter to explore ways it can make the respective wireless initiatives more efficient and cost effective… both companies have regional wireless businesses using the same 4G LTE network, and by working together the goal is to create better experiences for our customers".


* Comcast recently reported that as part of the FCC's Broadcast Incentive Auction, in the reverse auction its broadcasting operation NBC sold spectrum in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago for total proceeds of $481.6 million, while it purchased for $1.7 billion spectrum covering 88% of its service footprint and most of the footprint of its top 25 markets.

* Comcast serves nearly 29 million residential and business customers including over 23 million residential Internet and 10.5 million residential voice subscribers. Charter is the second largest U.S. cable operator, serving nearly 22 million residential broadband Internet customers and nearly 10.5 million residential voice customers.

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