Charter Sizes Up Verizon Wireless Opportunity
That apparent change of heart comes just days after Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) struck a groundbreaking, multi-faceted deal with Verizon Wireless that will let each side sell the other's services starting in 2012 and, about four years from now, enable the MSOs to resell cable-branded services on the Verizon Wireless network under an MVNO model. (See MSOs Sell AWS Spectrum to Verizon for $3.6B and Verizon Wireless: Cable’s New BFF.)
Despite not having any spectrum to toss into the pot, Charter is interested in the co-marketing end of that deal.
That agreement gives those MSOs a partnership that's similar in terms of the sales channel opportunities Charter now has with Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH), which is reselling Charter high-speed voice and Internet service, Charter CEO Mike Lovett said Monday at a UBS AG investor conference in New York.
He also sees such a partnership as mutually beneficial, noting that 60 percent of Charter's footprint overlaps AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), which is touting its ability to mix, bundle and integrate wired and wireless services. "We [Charter and Verizon Wireless] have kind of a common objective there," Lovett said.
It would also represent a significant strategy shift for Charter, which has restrained itself from joining its peers in a range of recent wireless partnerships with the likes of Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR). (See Comcast, TW Cable to Halt Clearwire Sales and MSOs Pivoting Away From Sprint JV.)
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable