YOU ARE AT:Analyst AngleKagan: Should Altice acquire Charter or Sprint?

Kagan: Should Altice acquire Charter or Sprint?

It looks like Altice may become one of the more aggressive growth-oriented pay TV providers. If so, would they be more interested in acquiring Charter to expand their cable television business or Sprint to offer wireless? To tell you the truth, I think the answer is both! The cable television industry is going through a very important and widespread transformation.

The Netherlands company, Altice NV, and it’s U.S. cable television unit may be trying to make an offer to buy Charter Communications Inc. If so, this would be no surprise–Altice is turning out to be one of the more aggressive players, especially in the slower-paced cable television world.

Change is coming as cable TV companies are now starting to offer IPTV, telephone, Internet and even wireless. In fact, cable TV has outgrown its name. Going forward, we should call the industry pay TV. With that said, some companies are further ahead than others.

The number one player is Comcast Xfinity. It is more rapidly transforming itself and expanding into other areas. The number two player is Charter Spectrum, which has not yet fully embraced this rapidly expanding and changing space. Number three is Altice. They seem to be growing rapidly as they have recently popped on the radar.

Could Altice growth surpass Charter Spectrum and become No. 2?

So, if cable TV is expanding to pay TV and embracing wireless TV, how are these players ranking? Comcast with their Xfinity Mobile has already re-entered the wireless space. Charter says they will follow, but not until next year. Why they are waiting is a big mystery. Altice has not made a wireless move yet.

With that said, I sense we will see more of Altice going forward. They are already one of the fastest growing pay TV providers and to tell you the truth, I expect to see more growth coming from them in coming years. Growth through acquisition and growth through customer choice.

Altice could very likely acquire other cable television companies. I also predict they will be entering the wireless space like Comcast and Charter.

Leadership in cable television has changed over the last decade or two. Looking backward, the industry was full of smaller providers scattered in markets from coast to coast. Today, the industry has fewer and larger players. They have more customers, more market share, more footprint and they offer more services like Internet, VoIP telephone and wireless.

Going forward is the next question. Will leadership change? Will number three acquire number two? Will both Charter and Altice go wireless and offer mobile TV? Will other cable television companies around the country take the same path? These are all the questions industry watchers like me are keeping our eyes on.

How will Altice enter wireless?

So, how will Altice enter wireless, if that’s their plan? There are two ways. One is they could acquire Sprint. Two is they could sign an MVNO agreement with a wireless carrier like Comcast and Charter have done. Going MVNO is quick and easy and could put them into the wireless arena sooner rather than later. Just like Comcast Xfinity Wireless.

An acquisition of Sprint, would give them wireless ownership, which could have a much higher growth potential, but would be a much more complex and complicated move. Is Altice a competent wireless player? That’s another big question.

So, expect to see Altice getting more attention going forward. Expect them to grow through acquisitions and through customer growth. Expect them to enter wireless one way or the other. I don’t have all the details yet. Not even Altice executives do. However, no matter the method, expect Altice activity and growth to continue.


Jeff Kagan
Jeff Kagan
Jeff is a RCR Wireless News Columnist, Industry Analyst, Key Opinion Leader and Influencer. He shares his colorful perspectives and opinions on the companies and technologies that are transforming the industry he has followed for 35 years. Jeff follows wireless, wire line telecom, Internet, Pay-TV, cable TV, AI, IoT, Digital Healthcare, Cloud, Mobile Pay, Smart cities, Smart Homes and more.

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