Comcast reported its earnings earlier today, the company actually beat analysts expectations in the fourth quarter of 2017. But that's not what all the talk is about. The talk is about Xfinity Mobile, the MVNO that the company launched last year, running on Verizon's Network. The company ended 2017 with 380,000 Xfinity Mobile subscribers, which isn't bad for around 6-7 months of the service being available (and only working with a handful of smartphones). Comcast didn't talk about churn either, and BTIG analyst, Walt Piecyk was quick to pick on the number discrepancies. Comcast had 250,000 at end of Q3, it said it added 187,000 in Q4. Which means it has lost around 47,000 lines during that time. That's a pretty big churn rate.
On the earnings call, Comcast did note that it is planning on doing a new bundle that would include Xfinity Mobile. David Watson, Comcast's CEO, noted that "we like our game plan, we like that it's connected to our existing business lines", referring to Xfinity Mobile. Now, adding bundles with Xfinity Mobile is not something new for Comcast. This was part of the company's plan all along with Xfinity Mobile, and it was something the company even talked about at launch. The only question is when these bundles will be available. The bigger issue for Comcast right now is the ability to use Xfinity Mobile on more devices. Currently, it's limited to a handful of ones (mostly Apple iPhones and Samsung devices), and that's due to how the service works. It works off of Verizon's network, and then moves to WiFi when it needs too, similar to Project Fi.
Xfinity Mobile was not cheap for Comcast in 2017. The company burned through around $480 million with Xfinity Mobile in 2017, and this comes without Comcast even having an actual mobile network – since it is using its existing WiFi networks from other customers, and Verizon's network. That is likely going to go even higher in 2018, especially if it continues to promote the service like it did in 2017. Definitely something to watch out for, as well as its numbers. Hopefully they are able to straighten it out and explain the discrepancy there.