Charter Communications has become a dominant cable TV operator after they acquired Time Warner Cable, and they are now planning to launch a nationwide mobile service as well.
CEO of Charter Communications Tom Rutledge said at the Goldman Sachs telecommunications conference in New York City that they are going to exercise the wireless spectrum rights that TWC had acquired from Verizon in 2012. “We’ve told Verizon we’re interested in pursuing that agreement,” Rutledge said. “We’d like to pursue that relationship.”
Mobile carrier spectrum resale is not an uncommon thing. Virgin Mobile was a pioneer to use Sprint network under their brand. Also, as Comcast previously failed to acquire Time Warner Cable, they have now announced their plans to resell Verizon wireless service. This is to make a mobile phone service that runs on the existing Wi-Fi network of Comcast Corp.
Like Time Warner Cable, Comcast had acquired the rights to Verizon spectrum in the same 2012 deal. Charter Communications said that they are exploring the options of entering the Wi-Fi based mobile service that is dominated by Verizon Communications and AT&T at present. This announcement was made just after Comcast revealed their plans to enter the Wi-Fi based phone service.
The exact plans of Charter for the Verizon network are not clear at the moment, and it is yet to be known if Charter will bundle wireless services with internet, TV, and home phone services. However, Verizon can do this with their FiOS fiber optic services.
As per reports, Charter and Comcast are planning to have a hybrid cellular and Wi-Fi service making use of Verizon’s network and numerous cable Wi-Fi spots. For businesses like Comcast and Charter, selling wireless services will help them attract users who tend to watch videos on smartphones.
“We’ve talked internally about how to build out network to the capacity that it’s capable of, terrestrially and wirelessly,” Rutledge said. “To get from where we are to true mobility is going to require the use of our Wi-Fi, the relationships we have, potentially with MVNOs, and require us to build out networks at some point in the future.”