Mediacom nears mobile launch across all markets

Mediacom confirmed that it is testing its new mobile service with employees and expects to launch the service commercially in the coming weeks. Mediacom developed the product with Reach but has not announced its MVNO partner.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

May 21, 2024

3 Min Read
Mediacom Mobile Van
(Source: Mediacom)

Mediacom Communications confirmed it is offering its new mobile service to employees as part of a test ahead of a commercial launch across its 22-state footprint that's expected to begin in the coming weeks.

"Upon commercial launch, we will offer [Mediacom Mobile] throughout our footprint," a Mediacom official said via email. "We are currently offering to employees as way of testing the product and the activation process, which is going well."

Mediacom expects to start selling its new service to customers under the Mediacom Mobile brand in early June, CableFAX first reported. In 2022, Mediacom Chairman, CEO and founder Rocco Commisso noted that the operator was evaluating a plan to launch a mobile service. The operator later secured the Mediacom Mobile trademark.

Unlimited and by-the-Gig plans

Like its US cable peers that also bundle in mobile, Mediacom will offer both unlimited and by-the-Gig plans. Citing Tapan Dandnaik, Mediacom's SVP of operations, product strategy and consumer experience, CableFAX noted that Mediacom will first offer an unlimited plan starting at $40 per month and a by-the-Gig plan starting at $15 for 1 gigabyte of data. He also told the pub that Mediacom will work with a partner to get access to the "majority of devices," but may not have access to some of the latest products, such as the iPhone 14 or 15, in the early going.

Mediacom will initially offer mobile to customers who also take home broadband, home phone or pay-TV service from the operator. "Stand-alone service will be something that will be reevaluated at a later date," the official said.

Mediacom developed Mediacom Mobile in partnership with Reach, a mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE) that has similar agreements with WideOpenWest (WOW) and the National Content & Technology Cooperative (NCTC), an organization that cuts programming and tech deals on behalf of nearly 700 small and midsized cable operators.

Mediacom has not yet revealed its MVNO partner, but Reach has agreements with T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon. WOW's and Astound Broadband's respective mobile services are powered by Reach use the T-Mobile network, and the NCTC's MVNO agreement is with AT&T. Breezeline and TVS Cable have both launched mobile services via the NCTC agreement. Comcast, Charter Communications and Cox Communications have MVNO pacts with Verizon.

Mediacom is not using the NCTC agreement to underpin its new mobile offering. Dandnaik told CableFAX that Mediacom preferred to go it alone. "We did look at what they [the NCTC] had, but we just needed something custom, and we needed a little bit more flexibility on what we did and we wanted different economics as well," Dandnaik told the publication.

Wi-Fi offload today, CBRS (maybe) tomorrow

Mediacom, the official said, is well-positioned to offload mobile traffic onto the operator's own Wi-Fi network, which comprises more than 8,000 Wi-Fi business and residential locations within its footprint. Other cable operators offering mobile have been using Wi-Fi to offload more than 80% of mobile traffic onto their own Wi-Fi network, and Mediacom hopes to do the same. Mediacom is also exploring Wi-Fi roaming partnerships with other cable companies, the official noted.

Mediacom has no current plans to use its CBRS spectrum to offload mobile traffic, something that fellow operators Comcast and Charter Communications are doing. But it's an approach that Mediacom intends to evaluate in the coming years, the official said.

Mediacom currently uses CBRS spectrum to help power Mediacom Bolt, its fixed wireless access (FWA) service.

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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