In a rare instance of cooperation within the cable industry, Charter Communications and Comcast have signed an agreement to work together as they prepare to offer cellphone wireless plans to customers.
The companies, which have each separately activated a mobile virtual network operator reseller agreement with Verizon Wireless, have agreed to explore working together in a number of potential operational areas in the wireless space, including creating common operating platforms; technical standards development and harmonization; device forward and reverse logistics; and emerging wireless technology platforms.
Stamford-based Charter and Philadelphia-based Comcast said that the resulting efficiencies would provide more choice, innovative products and competitive prices for customers in each of their respective footprints.
In addition, the companies have agreed to work only together with respect to national mobile network operators, through potential commercial arrangements, including mobile virtual network operators and other material transactions in the wireless industry, for a period of one year.
While AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. already offer wireless plans, as well as cable and internet service, Charter is expected to unveil its yet-to-be-named service next year. Comcast plans to launch its Xfinity Mobile service sometime in the next several weeks.
“By working with the team at Comcast, we can not only speed Charter’s entry into the marketplace, it will also enable us to provide more competition and drive costs down for consumers at a similar national scale as current wireless operators,” Charter Chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge said.