Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile ended 2018 with 1.2 million subscriber lines, adding 227,000 in the fourth quarter and 854,000 for the full year.
“Early results are supportive of our key objectives in wireless as we are seeing benefits to overall customer satisfaction and improve broadband retention when Xfinity Mobile is attached,” Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh told investors Wednesday, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. “Xfinity Mobile EBITDA losses which are included in the Corporate and Other segment were $191 million for the fourth quarter and $743 million for the full year.”
The final 2018 subscriber line count was shy of what some analysts had expected. Analysts at Oppenheimer last year predicted that Comcast would increase its Xfinity Mobile customer base to around 1.3 million by the end of 2018, growing that to 2.3 million by the end of 2019 and 3.3 million by 2020.
Comcast didn’t reveal anything new about what it plans to do with the 600 MHz spectrum it acquired in the broadcast incentive auction, but Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said the company is pleased with the MVNO relationship it has with Verizon.
“I think we’ve hit a good stride… I think the strategy of becoming a meaningful part of some other folks’ networks rather than go out and build our own—I’m very comfortable with that ... We’ve learned that wireless can really achieve what we thought,” which includes reducing churn for customers who subscribe to a bundle of Comcast’s products.
Comcast also generates a lot of traffic over Wi-Fi in the home, noting that over 80% of the data traffic on smartphones is delivered through Wi-Fi.