July 1, 2022
Roughly three months after launching a promotion around its entry-level mobile plan, Altice USA has followed with a new top-tier "unlimited" plan for its Optimum Mobile service.
The new unlimited plan is not truly unlimited; it allows customers to consume 50 gigabytes of mobile data per month before speeds are throttled back. However, the new option on monthly premium data is more than double Altice USA's other "unlimited" mobile option.
As spotted by the BestMVNO news site, Optimum Mobile's new "Unlimited Max" option starts at $40 per month for the aforementioned 50GB of premium data (speeds are reduced to 512 kbit/s when the data threshold is surpassed) and includes HD quality video streaming and 15GB of mobile hotspot data.
Figure 1: Altice USA, which launched mobile service in the fall of 2019, ended the second quarter of 2022 with 198,000 mobile lines.
(Source: ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy Stock Photo)
By comparison, Altice USA's lower-level unlimited plan starts at $30 per month for 20GB of premium data before customers are moved to slower speeds, limits video streaming to standard-definition quality and includes 5GB of mobile hotspot data.
Both of Optimum Mobile's unlimited tiers offer discounts on multiple lines – a $15 discount per line when subs take two to four lines and a $20 discount with five lines. Optimum Mobile allows up to five lines per account.
Optimum Mobile's entry-level 1GB tier, currently offered under a promotion, is selling for $5 per month for 12 months (the standard rate for the 1GB plan is $19 per month). A 3GB Optimum Mobile tier starts at $22 per month. Both of those lower-end tiers limit video streaming to standard-definition video, and cut speeds to 128 kbit/s when monthly data limits are exceeded. However, customers have the ability to purchase additional data once the monthly cap is reached.
New options emerge following new T-Mobile deal
Altice USA's latest mobile packaging and pricing moves follow the company's new MVNO deal with T-Mobile (Altice USA originally partnered with Sprint, but transitioned following the T-Mobile/Sprint merger) that paved the way for Altice USA to market more flexible pricing options.
Altice USA introduced its mobile service with Sprint back in the fall of 2019. The company added 12,000 mobile lines in Q1 2022, ending the period with 198,000 mobile lines – a 4.3% penetration of its residential subscriber base.
Altice USA initially sold mobile under a "digital-first" strategy with limited success. Now, it hopes to accelerate sub growth by ramping up the retail side of the mobile business and as Altice USA gets more aggressive with the marketing and sales of mobile services in general. After opening up ten stores in the first quarter of the year, Altice USA expects to open 75 stores in 2022, company CEO Dexter Goei said last month.
Altice USA is one of just a handful of cable operators to jump into the mobile game. Comcast and Charter Communications offer mobile in partnership with Verizon, and WideOpenWest recently soft-launched a mobile offering with Reach Mobile.
The National Cable Television Cooperative, an organization that does tech, programming and services deals on behalf of hundreds of independent cable operators, told Light Reading in March that it was exploring mobile options for its constituents.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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