Two of the major telecom industries in the United States, Comcast Corporations and Charter Communications, continue to remain positive about their MVNO businesses prospect. However, the executives from Verizon and AT&T are patiently waiting to see whether the cable companies can figure out a feasible business model.
When asked about the significance of wireless to the cable companies at a recent UBS investor conference, Chairman and CEO of Charter Communications, Tom Rutledge, replied by stating that, “It’s significant. We have over 200 million wireless devices connected to our network. We are a wireless company and we have a Wi-Fi business that we charge for, but not much relative to what people pay for mobility.”
He also pointed out that approximately 80 percent of bits on the mobile company devices “are coming through our networks because most of the future use of those devices is in sedentary environments, homes and offices.” “We have this MVNO which we’ve exercised, I heard it’s true that it doesn’t give you deep integration, so it has its limitations in terms of building a future product set,” Rutledge added.
The Charter CEO also revealed that the company has already applied for a regulatory approval in order to perform 5G experiments. In addition to that, he also shared that he doesn’t feel the need to do anything instantly on the MVNO front.
The senior executive vice president and CFO at Comcast, Mike Cavanagh, added that he is aware of the fact that there is an urgency to overcome a few of the of the skepticism which doubts that whether MVNOs can work. “But we’re optimistic that it can work for us against the goals that we have for that,” Cavanagh said.
Comcast earlier revealed that they have entered into a 5-year-old MVNO agreement with Verizon. They also added that they are trying to focus on their subscriber base rather than planning to launch a nationwide offering. “We’re mobilized and we’re on top of it,” Cavanagh added. He also indicated that approximately 150 people are working with Greg Butz, who is the Mobile President of Comcast.
“It’s going well,” Cavanagh said. “We have work to do to design the exact offering we want to have and lots of bits and pieces that go along with getting that right.”