Analyst company GlobalData tipped US cable companies to become serious mobile challengers, highlighting recent subscriber gains and acquisition of mid-band spectrum as driving forces.

The company stated Altice USA, Charter Communications and Comcast, which offer MVNO services, added 1.03 million post-paid phone customers in H1, 25 per cent more than the 822,000 net additions of AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile US.

GlobalData’s figures show the swing to MVNOs came in Q2, when they added 485,000 subscribers compared with 275,000 for the big-three.

Senior analyst Tammy Parker noted cable players had previously been unsuccessful in the mobile space, but are now “putting together the right mix of ingredients to become strong wireless competitors” and are “poised to grab even more market share” as their businesses evolve.

Recent mid-band spectrum acquisitions could help them “further rock” the market, enabling construction of their own wide-area networks and expanding opportunities around fixed wireless access.

In a recent research note, analysts at Raymond James said the new spectrum could help lower MVNO costs by helping cable players address traffic hotspots and reduce cellular offload.