Comcast and Charter ink wireless truce to offset cord cutting

09 May, 2017, 01:28 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Comcast and Charter ink wireless truce to offset cord cutting

Comcast indicated the partnership would help the companies capitalize on "operational efficiencies" by working together on common operating platforms, technical standards development and harmonization, device logistics, and emerging wireless technologies. By working together, the two companies can explore ways to let customers use either company's hot spots when traveling.

Both companies have been moving into the wireless communications space.

Philadelphia-based Comcast expects to launch its own wireless plan, Xfinity Mobile, in the next several weeks. "By working with the team at Comcast, we cannot only speed Charter's entry into the marketplace, it will also enable us to provide more competition and drive costs down for consumers at a similar national scale as current wireless operators", said Charter Chief Executive Tom Rutledge in a statement.

Comcast in April announced that it would sell wireless services, mainly to its own cable TV customers, by leasing network capacity from Verizon Communications (VZ). "Within our footprint, our network is perfectly suited to provide the data-rich wireless services that customers are increasingly demanding", Tom Rutledge, chairman and CEO of Charter, comments. Charter's chairman and CEO, Tom Rutledge, said, "By working with the team at Comcast, we cannot only speed Charter's entry into the marketplace, it will also enable us to provide more competition and drive costs down for consumers at a similar national scale as current wireless operators".

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Comcast and Charter have signed a cooperation deal to help each other break in to the mobile market.

The move comes as the two companies prepare to break into the competitive wireless market already dominated by large players such as Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. It's meant to reinforce Comcast's wireline bundle: Xfinity Mobile will be sold as a bundle with Comcast's other Xfinity services, with up to five phone lines automatically available for no extra cost when a customer adds Xfinity Mobile to their Xfinity Internet service.

The WSJ report - including the detail around wireless transactions - was confirmed by Comcast and Charter in a joint press release on Monday.

As part of the deal, announced Monday, Comcast and Charter agreed that they wouldn't buy other wireless companies for one year, and that they wouldn't make related deals without consulting each other first. "And so we're happy with our MVNO". The wireless space has four big national carriers - Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint - plus dozens of smaller, lower-cost, niche, or regional carriers that can piggyback off of the big guys' infrastructure.

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