Comcast and Charter, both regional cable operators, have announced an agreement to explore potential opportunities for operational cooperation in their respective wireless businesses to accelerate and enhance each company’s ability to participate in the national wireless marketplace.The agreement also forbids each company from making wireless mergers and acquisitions without the other’s consent for one year.
The companies, which have each separately activated a mobile virtual network operator (“MVNO”) reseller agreement with Verizon Wireless, have agreed to explore working together in a number of potential operational areas in the wireless space, including: creating common operating platforms; technical standards development and harmonization; device forward and reverse 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. 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 a period of one year.
Tom Rutledge, Chairman and CEO of Charter, said, “At Charter, we have a tremendous opportunity in front of us in the wireless space. 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.”
“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,” said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation. “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.”
The companies will file an 8-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that contains their agreement.