Comcast and Charter Communications made their rumored wireless partnership a reality Monday morning, announcing that the two cable operators would “explore potential opportunities for operational cooperation,” in their wireless businesses.
Related: Comcast, Charter to Partner on Wireless
The two companies already have announced their own separate wireless plans, utilizing Mobile Virtual Network Operator agreements with Verizon Communications. Comcast unveiled Xfinity Mobile in April and plans to make it available throughout its footprint later this month. Charter, which also has a Verizon MVNO, has said it plans to release a wireless product next year.
News of the partnership was first reported by the Wall Street Journal Sunday night.
This agreement will not affect the scale or scope of those projects, the companies said, but will allow them to work together in several areas within the wireless space, including creating common operating platforms; technical standards development; device logistics; and emerging wireless technology platforms. The efficiencies created are expected to provide more choice, innovative products and competitive prices for customers in each of their respective footprints.
“At Charter, we have a tremendous opportunity in front of us in the wireless space,” Charter chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge said in a statement. “Within our footprint, our network is perfectly suited to provide the data-rich wireless services that customers are increasingly demanding. 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. We look forward to working with Comcast through this innovative arrangement and bringing our focus on superior products and services, craftsmanship and quality customer care to the wireless space."
Additionally, the companies have agreed to work only together with respect to national mobile network operators, through potential commercial arrangements, including MVNOs and other material transactions in the wireless industry, for one year.
“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,” Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement. “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.”