Altice Strikes MVNO Agreement with Sprint
Not long after it officially announced that it was stopping merger discussions with T-Mobile, Sprint is now revealing that it has forged a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreement with Altice, the number four biggest cable service provider in the United States. In this partnership deal, the major US wireless carrier will basically allow Altice to start offering wireless services by leasing network capacity from Sprint. In exchange, the fourth biggest mobile operator in America will be taking full advantage of the cable giant’s broadband infrastructure in trying density its wireless coverage.
Cable companies joining forces with wireless carriers are nothing new these days. Just ask Comcast and Charter Communications, both of whom have signed MVNO agreements with Verizon Wireless, the largest mobile operator in the country. Of the two, it is Comcast who already has debuted its wireless service offering, with the introduction of its Xfinity Mobile more than seven months ago. Still, Charter may not be far behind -- as a matter of fact, it is looking to launch its own offering some time within the first half of next year.
With regards to its MVNO deal with Altice, Sprint is stressing that it has nothing to do with the its failed merger talks with T-Mobile. Tarek Robbiati, the chief financial officer of Sprint, also pointed out that the partnership is not like other regulars MVNO deals out there. For one, both companies are exchanging significant value with each other, with Altice making full use of Sprint’s wireless network, while the carrier tapping into the cable company’s existing broadband infrastructure. Moreover, both companies will be paying each other for access to the other’s network.
It is no secret that Sprint currently enjoys a massive treasure trove spectrum, including 2.5 GigaHertz airwaves that are capable of carrying very big amounts of data at fast speeds. These airwaves, however, do not propagate as proficiently as compared to lower band spectrum, which means that they will need a highly densified network. This is where Altice’s existing infrastructure plays a huge part -- essentially granting the major US wireless carrier an opportunity to exploit its spectrum to the fullest.
As mentioned earlier in this article, Altice is the fourth biggest cable service provider in America, offering TV, Internet, and Wi-Fi services. The company’s customer base currently consists of over 4.9 million residential and business accounts. Right now, the cable giant is continuing to set up a next gen fiber to the home network, making it the only major US cable company to announce a massive scale fiber roll out.