Charter Communications’ Spectrum Mobile brand is doing a heavy ad blitz around its new bundle, called “Spectrum One,” that offers internet, advanced Wi-Fi and a single mobile line for $49.99/month for 12 months.
The cable company is framing it as “the best Spectrum deal yet” and points out on its website that if purchased separately, these services would cost $84.98/month. The new offer, which was reported earlier by BestMVNO, promises internet speeds of 300 Mbps.
It’s another volley in their competition with mobile operators as cable operators increasingly bite into the mobile market and mobile carriers like T-Mobile and Verizon attempt to woo cable subscribers with fixed wireless access (FWA) home internet offers.
It’s a great example of the wireless/wireline convergence that’s happening as a telecom megatrend, according to Jeff Moore, principal of Wave7 Research.
“Charter is all in,” he tweeted on Monday. “Massive outbreak of TV and radio advertising launched 10/4.”
On October 4, the company launched three TV commercials to promote its new Spectrum One bundle and they’ve already aired 2,600 times so far, according to Moore.
“To me, this is more of an internet offer than it is a mobile offer, but obviously, this is bundling convergence at its finest,” he told Fierce, noting he’s been following the convergence for a while, with cable companies jumping into wireless and wireless carriers getting into territory traditionally served by cable.
At $49.99/month for the first 12 months, “it is a killer offer,” he said. “My question is what happens after the first 12 months.”
A Charter spokesperson wasn’t immediately available to explain what happens after 12 months, but according to Charter's website, regular pricing takes effect once the promo period ends.
BestMVNO also reported that other changes were made in Spectrum pricing. For example, customers can now get Spectrum Mobile’s base unlimited plan with 20 GB of data (before throttling) for $29.99/line; it was previously $45 for the first line or $29.99 with two or more lines.
For a while now, Charter has claimed that its Spectrum Mobile brand delivers faster overall speeds than any other mobile provider in its footprint, which seems odd since Charter uses Verizon’s network under an MVNO arrangement. But Charter says its own Wi-Fi network makes all the difference.
Fellow cable operator Comcast, citing third-party data from Ookla, touts that its Xfinity Mobile brand is the fastest overall mobile service in Comcast service areas. Comcast also uses Verizon’s network under an MVNO deal but argues that more than 80% of Xfinity Mobile customers’ data usage happens over Wi-Fi.
Comcast’s combination of cellular and Wi-Fi enabled Xfinity Mobile to deliver median download speeds in the range of 200 Mbps during the second quarter of 2022, according to the company, which also claims to offer great savings on wireless bills.
Story updated October 11 with additional information on pricing.