How Cable Is Shaking Up the Mobile Marketplace

A woman uses her smart phone while out and about

Cable providers have long sought to expand the types of services they provide, starting with television, then broadband, and further expanding to home phone service. In recent years, America’s connectivity leaders have again extended their offerings to include mobile service, giving Americans more choices than ever before.

By leasing capacity from existing mobile networks, cable ISPs offer service as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) and millions of American consumers are taking advantage of the competitive alternative that is now available. In recent years, Charter and Comcast have entered into MVNO agreements and began offering mobile service via their Spectrum Mobile and Xfinity Mobile brands respectively. Boosted by their large number of public Wi-Fi hotspots, these mobile services seamlessly offload data onto their Wi-Fi networks ensuring smart data management, reducing the amount of mobile data used by a subscriber.

The leap into mobile service has been popular among consumers who can take advantage of lower prices for individual or family plans. Earlier this year, cable providers saw some of the largest increases yet to their mobile offerings.

Xfinity Mobile now has 4.6 million subscribers, and Spectrum Mobile recently reported 4.3 million subscribers. Additionally, companies like Cox and Mediacom have announced that they are gearing up to begin offering mobile service in the near future, with Cox launching pilot programs as soon as this month. This growth comes as mobile operators like Verizon and T-Mobile beef up their home internet offerings, an example of how mobile and terrestrial broadband networks have been converging and competing in recent years.

Charter Chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge said of the company’s mobile expansion, “our fixed and mobile broadband services continue to converge, and we offer a unique connectivity package while meaningfully reducing customer bills.”

Other cable operators have signaled they might soon be entering the mobile space too. As Xfinity and Spectrum Mobile continue their rapid growth, customers see the benefits to their bottom line and the convenience added to their daily lives.