& cplSiteName &

Comcast, Charter Hint at New MVNO Deals

Mari Silbey
4/20/2018
50%
50%

A new wireless partnership announced today between Comcast and Charter may offer a clue as to where the two cable companies are headed next.

The news involves Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Charter Communications Inc. teaming up to develop a joint operating platform for their wireless services, but it also suggests that the cable operators are open to partnering with new players in the mobile industry, expanding beyond an initial MVNO agreement with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).

The companies say the platform will tie together back-end sales and support systems as well as logistics and customer billing. But the most interesting line in the press release reads as follows: "The operating platform developed by the partnership will serve as the systems interface for current and any future MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) partners." (See Comcast, Charter Launch Mobile Platform Partnership.)

One obvious candidate for a future deal is Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S). Several US cable companies -- including Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks (the latter two now part of Charter) -- previously partnered with Sprint in a joint venture called Pivot more than a decade ago. But that JV ended in 2008.

Far more recently in 2017, Comcast and Charter were reported to be in new talks with Sprint. So far that rumor hasn't amounted to anything, but it's likely the idea for a Sprint MVNO hasn't died. (See Charter, Comcast Eye Sprint Tie-Up – Report.)

Lending further weight to the possibility is the fact that both Altice USA and Cox Communications Inc. have inked agreements with Sprint since late last year. Altice signed an MVNO deal last November, while Cox announced in January that it will provide significant backhaul capacity to boost Sprint's wireless network. (See Altice & Sprint Ink MVNO Deal and Sprint, Cox Go From Patent Suit to Partnership.)


You're invited to attend Light Reading’s Big Communications Event -- the ONE event that delivers fresh perspective on the rapid transformation of the telecom industry and the road ahead. We'll see you May 14-16 in Austin -- communications service providers get in free!


Providing more details on their latest partnership, which springs from an alliance Comcast and Charter formed 11 months ago, the companies say they will use parts of Comcast's existing Xfinity Mobile operating system to build their joint platform. Each company will ultimately contribute equal funding to the effort, but Charter will finance the venture initially because of the investments Comcast has already made on the technology front. (See also Comcast & Charter Seal Wireless Pact.)

The companies note that all customer-facing activities will be handled separately by each operator. Comcast and Charter will also appoint two executives each to form a board of directors governing the partnership. Development work will take place in Philadelphia using Comcast employees.

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
John Chambers is still as passionate about business and innovation as he ever was at Cisco, finds Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
September 12, 2018, Los Angeles, CA
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 6, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Telecom Jargonosaurus Part 1: Repeat Offenders
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/13/2018
AT&T's Stankey Serves Up a Stinker at HBO
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/10/2018
Broadcom Buys CA – Huh?
Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading, 7/11/2018
Verizon Taps Malady as Acting CTO
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 7/12/2018
FCC's Rosenworcel: US 'Falling Behind' on 5G
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/13/2018
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed