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Comcast, Charter will work jointly on wireless

Comcast, Charter will “work only together” in deals with MNOs

Cable operators Comcast and Charter Communications have made a deal in which they will join forces to increase their operational efficiencies as mobile virtual network operators on Verizon Wireless’ network.

The companies, which each have separately activated a mobile virtual network operator agreement with Verizon Wireless, said that they have agreed to “explore working together in a number of potential operational areas in the wireless space, including: creating common operating platforms; technical standards development and harmonization; device forward and reverse logistics; and emerging wireless technology platforms.”

Comcast and Charter said for one year, they will “work only together” in commercial arrangements or other “material transactions” with national mobile network operators.

The joint announcement comes in the wake of Comcast unveiling plans in April to launch a wireless offering, Xfinity Mobile, through its MVNO agreement with Verizon Wireless as well as leveraging Comcast’s own extensive Wi-Fi footprint of 16 million hot spots. Comcast expects that Xfinity Mobile will reach 130 million potential subscribers. Plans include unlimited data offerings for $65 per line ($45 per line for customers who have Comcast’s most expensive Xfinity X1 packages) or an option to pay $12 for each gigabyte of cellular data used. Comcast plans to open Xfinity Mobile stores across the country, adding that about 80% of its 29 million customers will live within 15 miles of an Xfinity Mobile retail location.

“By working with the team at Comcast, we can not only speed Charter’s entry into the marketplace, it will also enable us to provide more competition and drive costs down for consumers at a similar national scale as current wireless operators,” said Tom Rutledge, chairman and CEO of Charter, in a statement.

Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast, added that “we’re looking forward to launching Xfinity Mobile to our customers in the coming weeks and are excited about this opportunity to work with Charter to explore ways we can make our respective wireless initiatives more efficient and cost effective. Both of our companies have regional wireless businesses using the same 4G LTE network, and by working together our goal is to create even better experiences for our customers.”

 

 

ABOUT AUTHOR

Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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