While Comcast and Charter Communications have enjoyed a close partnership for their respective mobile business, sharing everything from merchandising plans to backend technology, their appear to be limits as to just how much Altice USA can collaborate with the two biggest U.S. cable companies in regards to its own MVNO business.
“Ours is a facility based. Theirs is a light MVNO, which makes it a little bit difficult today to cooperate specifically around infrastructure,” said Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei, during his company’s second quarter earnings report.
“We clearly can cooperate around whether it be marketing, cross-marketing, maybe some supplier acquisition stuff,” Goei said. “But as you know, we are so active globally as a group, and we've maintained very good relationships on a global level with the key suppliers, that we've been able to go ahead and do a lot of this stuff on our own. But I don't ever eliminate the possibilities or the attractiveness of teaming up with our friends from Charter and Comcast on anything relating to that.”
Last year, Altice USA announced an MVNO partnership with Sprint. The cable operator said it will deploy a mobile service built around the deal in 2019.
“We have a full infrastructure-based MVNO, which has attractive economics and flexibility features for us,” Goei said. “We have a dedicated and experienced mobile management team which will lead the development, launch and ongoing mobile strategy. In terms of network development the densification of Sprint's network, which we're helping with our AirStrand deployment is comfortably ahead of schedule as are the upgrades to and expansion of our WiFi network. We are also testing CBRS spectrum with equipment in a 3.5 gigahertz band as this may be good complementary capacity for us.”