Charter, Comcast tap Amdocs for backend mobile service support

It’s unclear if the expanded Amdocs partnerships is part of Comcast and Charter’s joint backend system efforts. (Getty Images)

As cable operators Comcast and Charter Communications forge ahead with their respective MVNO wireless brands, both have tapped software services provider Amdocs to help modernize backend systems for better digital customer experiences.

Amdocs’ expanded partnership with Comcast includes a multi-year managed services agreement for hosted operations for the cable operator’s Xfinity Mobile brand. Amdocs said its DevOps team will collaborate with Comcast to launch new mobile offers and service enhancements while providing a simplified and more streamlined digital customer experience.

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Similarly, Amdocs said Charter’s Spectrum Mobile brand will utilize integrated and modular solutions to speed time to market for new wireless service offers and bundle. Amdocs is providing Spectrum Mobile with multiple systems, spanning multi-channel sales, ordering, customer service and monetization capabilities to modernize the MNVO business’s order-to-cash process.  

Comcast launched its Xfinity Mobile wireless service roughly two years ago, followed later by Charter’s Spectrum Mobile service, which has been available across the operator’s national footprint since September 2018.  

Both Charter and Comcast offer their respective mobile services via MVNO arrangements that let them ride on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. Xfinity Mobile also utilizes Comcast’s 19 million Wi-Fi hotspots.

In April of 2018, before Spectrum Mobile’s soft launch that summer, Comcast and Charter announced the two would team on a 50-50 joint venture to create a unified mobile backend system.

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At the time the companies said they would work together on a scalable platform to support mobile-related customer sales and support, billing, and device logistics and warehousing. Customer-facing operations and relationships with device-makers have continued to be handled individually.

It’s unclear if the expanded Amdocs partnerships is part of Comcast and Charter’s joint backend system efforts. An Amdocs representative told FierceWireless that at this time, the company is unable to provide additional comment on the matter.

As of the end of June, Comcast said its Xfinity Mobile service had approximately 1.5 million customers, with the addition of 181,000 net customer lines in the second quarter.

Comcast recently added a new option for its wireless customers that want to upgrade to HD streaming video resolution, now charging $20 per month for an HD Pass on Xfinity Mobile unlimited plans.

RELATED: Confirmed: Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile to slow video streams, hotspot connection speed

Charter ended the second quarter with 518,000 total Spectrum Mobile lines, adding 208,000 connections in the period. On the company’s Q2 earnings call CEO Thomas Rutledge said Charter plans to expand Spectrum Mobile service to small and medium business customers later this year.  

Charter CFO Christopher Winfrey cited growing brand awareness and the expansion of its bring-your-own-device (BYOD) option across all sales channels as drivers of Spectrum Mobile’s accelerated customer additions in the quarter.

Spectrum Mobile generated $158 million in revenue in the second quarter, while mobile operating expenses totaled $277 million. Charter spent $93 million in mobile-related CapEx, driven by retail footprint upgrades for mobile and software, some of which Winfrey said was related the company’s JV with Comcast.

While total subscriber numbers are still small compared to well established wireless operators, at least one U.S. carrier felt some pressure from cable operators in the second quarter.

RELATED: U.S. Cellular loses 26K postpaid subs in Q2, readies for 5G launch in 2020

U.S. Cellular CEO Ken Meyers, speaking on the company’s quarterly earnings call last week, said the carrier felt the impact of new entrant activity in Q2. He said the competition came from a cable operator already in place in the market that was now offering low-cost single-line plans. U.S. Cellular lost 26,000 net postpaid subscribers in the second quarter.