Suddenlink rebranding as 'Optimum' amid fiber upgradesSuddenlink rebranding as 'Optimum' amid fiber upgrades
Rebranding is part of broader 'Let's Reconnect' campaign as Altice USA upgrades its wireline networks, gets more aggressive with mobile services and moves ahead with a plan to deliver growth.
April 5, 2022
Altice USA has pulled the trigger on a decision to rebrand its rural-facing Suddenlink footprint under the company's soon-to-be all-encompassing "Optimum" brand. The move will effectively convert Suddenlink to the Optimum branding that Cablevision Systems was using prior to being acquired by Altice in 2016.
Altice USA plans to rebrand Suddenlink as Optimum later this year. The move comes roughly seven years after Altice USA made its play for the mid-sized, rural-focused cable operator.
Figure 1: A Suddenlink local branch office in Georgetown, Texas.
(Source: Philip Duff/Alamy Stock Photo)
Unified consumer branding has become a common move among the nation's cable operators. Comcast carries the Xfinity brand, Charter Communications markets under the Spectrum brand and Cable One is now known by its customers as Sparklight. More recently, Astound Broadband became the lead brand at RCN, Grande Communications and Wave, while Atlantic Broadband was renamed Breezeline.
Word of the brand change at Suddenlink was revealed in concert with a broader "Let's Reconnect" consumer campaign focusing on customer experience and customer service via TV spots and other marketing tactics. Altice USA paired that with an open letter explaining the campaign to existing Suddenlink customers and customers already on the Optimum branding in parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The letter also references Altice USA's vigorous fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) buildout and upgrade plan. In February, Altice USA announced that it would bring fiber and multi-gig speeds to more than two-thirds of its footprint, including 2.5 million homes in parts of the former Suddenlink areas, by the end of 2025. Altice USA's full multi-year FTTP plan will cover 6.5 million homes in the coming years.
Figure 2: Altice USA is spreading the word to customers via letters and on the web about the coming Suddenlink brand change.
(Source: Altice USA. Used with permission.)
Altice USA has already rebranded its wireless product as Optimum Mobile. The operator, which ended 2021 with 186,000 mobile lines in service, is expected to get more aggressive with that product and accelerate subscriber growth in the wake of a new MVNO agreement with T-Mobile. Among the early actions from the deal, Altice USA is offering its 1-Gigabyte mobile plan for free for 12 months to new mobile customers.
The new campaign and unified branding are taking shape amid some analysts' concerns about whether Altice USA can return to growth, particularly when it comes to high-margin broadband.
"Investors have increasingly come to view Altice as Cable's new canary," MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett explained in a recently issued research note. "With more fiber-based competition than anyone else, Altice offers what has come to be seen, at least by Cable bears, as a glimpse into Cable's future. Everyone, or so goes the narrative, will eventually look like Altice … and broadband growth will go negative for all."
Altice USA scores new MVNO deal with T-Mobile Investors view Altice USA as 'new canary' in cable's coal mine – analyst Altice USA joins the fiber frenzy — Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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