Via their MVNOs, Comcast, Charter eye the mobile business market

Comcast and Charter may well extend their mobile efforts into the business segment. (Pexels/Negative Space)

Two of the nation's largest cable companies continue to build out their mobile strategies through their respective MVNO services. And, as part of that work, Comcast and Charter Communications acknowledged they are currently evaluating whether they should chase business users in addition to mass market consumers.

“In the future, Charter may offer Spectrum Mobile to the company’s small and medium business customers on similar terms, subject to limitations in our MVNO with Verizon,” Charter said in a recent filing.

“We have the opportunity to offer Xfinity Mobile to small business customers in the future but have no details to share at this time,” a Comcast representative said in response to questions from FierceWireless.

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The statements are notable considering both Comcast and Charter have positioned their respective mobile services directly toward the consumer market. Of course, that makes sense considering both companies also have sizable consumer businesses with their wired cable and internet offerings.

But it also makes sense that both companies would weigh their options in the business market; both companies have extensive enterprise operations with their cable networks. Indeed, Comcast’s quarterly revenues from business services grew fully 11% year over year in the second quarter of 2018, to roughly $1.8 billion.

Thus, it would make sense that both Comcast and Charter would consider adding a mobile option to their already extensive business service operations.

To be clear, though, Comcast and Charter are relatively new entrants into the mobile arena. Comcast launched its Xfinity Mobile MVNO service last year; in the second quarter of this year, the company reported a gain of an additional 204,000 Xfinity Mobile lines—the cable operator’s biggest quarterly customer addition figure since it launched its mobile services last year. Comcast added that its quarterly results include a loss of $185 million from Xfinity Mobile, and that its mobile business ended the period with a total of 781,000 customer lines.

Charter, meantime, launched its own Spectrum Mobile MVNO service at the tail end of the second quarter. Although the company has not yet reported customer figures for its MVNO, it did say it spent $116 million during the quarter on mobile, including $33 million in operating expenses and $53 million in capital expenses.

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