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Charter previously offered 'by the gig' pricing at $14 per GB. Now it's offering the first GB for around $20 and subsequent GBs for $5. Analyst Jeff Moore, with Wave7 Research, said the change is not a surprise.
January 30, 2024
Cable giant Charter Communications continues to massage its mobile strategy, this time with a change to its "by the gig" pricing option. The company is now charging around $20 for customers' first GB and then $5 thereafter.
That's a change from the $14 per GB the company has been offering for several years through its Spectrum Mobile service. Charter's "by the gig" option sits alongside its unlimited data options, which currently start at around $15 per month. The company recommends its "by the gig" plans to customers who use less than 2 GB of data per month.
"The vast majority of Spectrum Mobile lines are Unlimited or Unlimited Plus and aren't affected by this change," a Charter representative wrote in response to questions from Light Reading.
"Our new By the Gig pricing reflects the cost of providing Spectrum Mobile customers the best mobile experience and support. Any By the Gig customer who uses more than 1 GB of data per month will see a price decrease, and a Spectrum Mobile customer is always free to switch between By the Gig and Unlimited service as their needs change," they continued.
"$14 per GB is a very low price," said analyst Jeff Moore with Wave7 Research. He said that Charter's pricing change does not come as a surprise amid rising inflation and price increases from other operators.
To be clear, Charter has been experimenting with a variety of pricing and promotional options in recent years. For example, the company in 2021 began offering unlimited services for $30 per month for two lines of service, down from an earlier price of $45 per month. And now, on its website, Charter is boasting of an unlimited offer starting at $15 per month, but that's only available for two lines of service for the first 12 months of service, and only to customers who also purchase the company's wired Internet service.
As Light Reading previously reported, Charter also recently changed the default video streaming resolution for its Unlimited Plus mobile customers to 480p from 720p, in order to reduce its network-usage payments to Verizon.
And, of course, Charter has led the way with converged offerings bundling wireless and wireline services, primarily through its Spectrum One offer. The company also touts a "speed boost" service that routes faster connections to its mobile customers who sign on to the company's home Wi-Fi offerings.
Charter added 594,000 mobile lines in its third quarter, up from 396,000 in the year-ago quarter, for a total of 7.22 million mobile customers. The figures put the company on a path to pass Dish Network as the nation's largest MVNO. Charter is scheduled to report its fourth quarter results later this week; analysts expect the company to add around 535,000 mobile lines of service during the period.
Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading
Based in Denver, Mike has covered the wireless industry as a journalist for almost two decades, first at RCR Wireless News and then at FierceWireless and recalls once writing a story about the transition from black and white to color screens on cell phones.
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