Thursday, July 5, 2018

Charter launches Spectrum Mobile over Verizon infrastructure

Charter Communications, the second largest cable operator in the U.S. with over 25 million subscribers, launched its Spectrum Mobile service. Charter is operating as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) using Verizon's nationwide 4G LTE network in combination with its own nationwide network of Spectrum WiFi hotspots.

Spectrum Mobile is offering two plans: (1) unlimited data for $45 a month (2) By the Gig at a price of $14/GB. Both plans include free nationwide talk and text.

Comcast and Charter form 50/50 partnership for mobile backend

Comcast and Charter announce a 50/50 operating platform partnership focused on the development and design of backend systems that support Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile and Charter’s Spectrum Mobile service. The partnership will be governed by a four-person board of directors, with two directors representing each of Comcast and Charter. The partnership will be based in Philadelphia and will utilize Comcast employees to support the development of the platform on behalf of both companies.

The companies said that while they will continue to develop their respective mobile brands, products, and services, there is an opportunity to work together to develop an efficient and scalable software platform, and related backend systems, which will power each company’s mobile-related customer sales and support platforms, device logistics and warehousing, and billing." The operating platform developed by the partnership will serve as the systems interface for current and any future MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) partners.

Danny Bowman, Chief Mobile Officer for Charter, said, “Our new partnership will enable us to drive faster and more cost-effective mobile product and service enhancements and provide innovative and affordable mobile service to our customers. We are excited about the launch of Spectrum Mobile in the coming months.”

“We have built a best-in-class mobile platform for Xfinity Mobile that is resonating with customers,” said Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer for Comcast. “By collaborating with Charter, we will help drive operational and cost efficiencies for both companies.”


FCC Approves Charter + Time Warner + Brighthouse Deal

The FCC approved the merger of Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable Inc. and acquisition of Bright House Networks.

Charter said it agreed to a number of conditions as part of the FCC approval.  Many of the conditions either codified or reflected specific commitments Charter offered proactively at the beginning of the transaction review process, including no data caps or usage-based billing, a commitment to build out high-speed broadband service to unserved and underserved customers, the fastest low-income broadband program of any major service provider, and settlement-free peering.

The California Public Utilities Commission vote is scheduled for May 12th, following last month's recommendation for approval from the California Administrative Law Judge.

"I want to thank Chairman Wheeler and Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai and O'Rielly for their thorough review of these transactions," said Tom Rutledge, President and CEO of Charter Communications.  "The significant benefits of these transactions are clear; greater competition, more consumer and OTT friendly broadband policies, broader access to affordable broadband, and added U.S. jobs.  The conditions are largely extensions of the longstanding consumer friendly values and practices of our company, and based on the commitments we put forward during the review process. Charter will be a stronger competitor in the broadband and video markets, well positioned to deliver these benefits and more to consumers."

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