Analysts believe that cable MVNOs like Charter’s Spectrum Mobile and Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile could pick up half of all wireless customer additions in just two years. Both of these cable companies are using Verizon for its mobile network and supplementing them with WiFi hotspots from their own customers around the country. Because they are using Verizon’s network, they are classified as an MVNO or a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, instead of a regular carrier. Now, according to some Wall Street analysts at Morgan Stanley Research “wireless executives had been dismissive of cable’s foray into wireless, and the economics of the MVNO model in an unlimited world; however, following Comcast’s early success, we think the companies and investors are more sensitive to this risk.”
The reasoning behind this thinking by these analysts is that Comcast added more phone customers than Verizon and AT&T in 2017. Of course, Comcast had just launched Xfinity Mobile in 2017, and were promoting it pretty heavy, which definitely helped. These analysts believe that cable MVNOs will account for around 2.2 million mobile phone customers in 2020, which would be around half of the net additions. This is also pretty similar to what other analysts have said recently about cable MVNOs like Spectrum Mobile and Xfinity Mobile.
T-Mobile and Sprint have already seen this coming, seeing these cable MVNOs becoming a big threat to their business. Which is why the two companies stated that there are eight players in the space, when they announced their merger a few months ago. Of course, there’s really only (at least right now) four national wireless carriers, but there are plenty of big MVNOs coming into the space that are going to be able to steal customers away. This is due to their lower prices, but still offering a great network like Verizon, as the backbone to their service. As is the case with both Charter and Comcast’s offerings here.