US cable operator Comcast hailed its best quarter to-date for mobile customer gains since it launched an MVNO service on Verizon’s network five years ago, prompting an analyst to speculate on a potential play for its own spectrum.
The addition of 330,000 mobile users during Q3, taking its total to 4.9 million.
Analyst Craig Moffett speculated the growth could be bad news for Verizon if Comcast partnered with Charter Communications to make a play for mid-band spectrum.
Charter Communications also offers MVNO services using Verizon’s infrastructure, so any move by the cable companies to acquire their own spectrum would remove the traffic from the mobile company’s network.
“Such an approach would give Comcast and its cable operator peers what would be a decisive cost advantage.”
Comcast chair and CEO Brian Roberts (pictured) noted on its earnings call the company was “still in the very early growth phase in penetrating” the mobile segment.
Wireless revenue increased 30.8 per cent year-on-year to $789 million, driven by the customer gains and device sales.
Research company MoffettNathanson noted wireless operations accounted for 4.8 per cent of the cable sector’s overall revenue during Q3, with a CAGR of 30.8 per cent.
Comcast’s cable division, which includes pay-TV, mobile and fixed phone services, and broadband, posted revenue of $16.5 billion, up 2.6 per cent.
Overall revenue fell 1.5 per cent to $29.8 billion, and the company fell from a profit of $4 billion in Q3 2021 to a loss of $4.6 billion.