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Altice Mobile Debuts $20 Per Month 'Price for Life' to Optimum & Suddenlink Subs

Jeff Baumgartner
9/5/2019

Altice USA took the wraps off its long-anticipated mobile service Thursday with a $20 per month per line "price for life" offer for its Optimum and Suddenlink customers, and $30 per line per month offer for all others who live "in or near" its 21-state footprint, including New York City.

Altice Mobile is backing that pricing with an "Unlimited Everything" pledge covering data, text and talk nationwide, as well as unlimited data for mobile hotspots and video streaming. The service's unlimited international text and talk component also extends to 35 countries, including Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Israel and "most of Europe," the company said.

As expected, Altice Mobile is playing up a bring-your-own-phone option alongside the ability for customers to purchase new smartphones from Apple, Samsung and Motorola. Altice Mobile said Optimum and Suddenlink retail stores will provide options for customers to purchase devices in full or at zero-down/zero interest 36-month financing.

Altice Mobile is underpinned by the operator's own WiFi network (comprising about 2 million hotspots) and its "full," facilities-based MVNO pact with Sprint, which is in the process of merging with T-Mobile. Altice USA's agreement with Sprint is also poised to be expanded to the new T-Mobile network, inclusive of 5G services, through a contract extension pursuant to the DoJ's conditions on the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger and T-Mobile's merger commitments to the FCC.

"By building a mobile network that will ultimately support 5G combined with our state-of-the-art fiber broadband capable of more than 10 Gigabit speeds, Altice USA is creating a formidable and powerful network to deliver superior connectivity and simplified customer experiences," Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei said in a statement.

In addition to providing "loyalty pricing" to Altice USA's cable customers, the company is also "proud to expand Altice Mobile outside of our customer base and give even more people a taste of Altice's great innovations and services," added Hakim Boubazine, Altice USA's co-president and COO.

Altice Mobile's decision to sell inside and outside Altice USA's wireline service area differs from the mobile service strategies of Comcast (Xfinity Mobile) and Charter Communications (Spectrum Mobile), which have focused mobile marketing inside its footprint and as a service it can bundle with their respective residential broadband services.

Altice Mobile's coverage via Sprint is also be to complemented by Altice USA's recently signed national roaming contract with AT&T that will fill in some important holes where Sprint doesn't offer service and, in the cable operator's words, "ensures an aggregate 99% nationwide coverage."

Altice Mobile's service, initially underpinned by Sprint's LTE network and complemented by WiFi, also simplifies and undercuts the pricing of mobile services from Comcast and Charter Communications that are based on MVNO deals with Verizon.

Comcast and Charter, which both offer by-the-Gig and unlimited options for mobile, have combined to sell 1.8 million mobile lines so far. While those services haven't had a major impact on other major US mobile carriers, those cable-led offers have put some pressure on U.S. Cellular, which lost 26,000 mobile customers in Q2 2019.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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Clifton K Morris
Clifton K Morris
9/6/2019 | 4:57:36 PM
May want to consider a company that supports microcell.
As an XFinityMobile customer who also has Sprint, I have to say the biggest let down of the Xfinity/Verizon deal is the lack of (and ability to deploy) a microcell in the office or home.

WiFi calling is okay, but when it comes to having a consistent voice call, WiFi calling is unprofessional and quite a let-down. It seems that Comcast didn’t think about this at all when they were negotiating their terms with Verizon.

Also, what’s this about 36-month financing? Surely that’s a mis-print. Has the wholesale cost of phones (or the back-office handset serialization systems) added additional costs to necessitate 36-month contract? I mean, what is the actual cost of selling air?
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