Is Now the Time for Smaller Cable Operators to Enter the Wireless Market?

By Jeff Johnston

August 2021

Key Points

  • National wireless operators including Verizon and T-Mobile are setting their sights on the lucrative home broadband market to take market share from the incumbent cable providers.
  • Technological advancements in wireless – coupled with large swaths of spectrum – have enabled national wireless operators to offer broadband via a competing fixed wireless service.
  • Even though the fixed wireless threat is in its infancy, the large cable operators are not taking any chances. Charter, Comcast and Altice each launched a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) business whereby they bundle their broadband service with smartphone plans and phones. The results have been impressive.
  • Smaller cable operators have been watching from the sidelines, but might act now given their vulnerability to fixed wireless competition.
  • However, launching an MVNO is no small task. Cable operators must consider several factors, including how to lower wholesale costs and address scale.

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