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Less than a week ago, Charter Communications had launched its wireless service brand, Spectrum Mobile. And at least one industry watcher from Wall Street is already projecting that the new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) will be gaining around a quarter of a million new customers this year. Interestingly, this projection is actually lower than previously anticipated.
Indeed, analysts from New Street Research had recently issued a note to investors just this week, and they indicated that they had previously predicted that Charter Communications’ Spectrum Mobile wireless brand would gain around 310,000 subscriptions in 2018, and then another 1.62 million subscriptions next year.
According to these analysts, they based their earlier projections from the performance of another MVNO (check out our guide on MVNOs) relatively recently launched by another cable giant -- Xfinity Mobile by Comcast. But because of factors such as higher metered pricing and the lack of availability for iPhone devices on Spectrum Mobile, these analysts have lowered their predictions by 60,000 for this year, and then 100,000 for 2019.
Many have observed that Spectrum Mobile’s set up (it also offers unlimited) is a bit reminiscent of Xfinity Mobile’s, at least in how wireless service is being marketed to prospective customers. This should not be much of a surprise -- mainly because Comcast and Charter did strike a wireless partnership back in May earlier this year.
Still, there are some notable differences? For one, as mentioned earlier in this post, Spectrum Mobile, at least for now, does not sell iPhone devices, unlike Xfinity Mobile. Needless to say, this is intriguing -- especially when one considers that iPhones make up about half of the entire smartphone market in the United States. Another difference is that Spectrum Mobile’s pricing is slightly higher compared to Xfinity Mobile, at least for mobile users who buy data by the gigabyte.
Still, New Street Research’s team of analysts firmly believe that the current wireless market in America presents a good opportunity for Charter Communications’ Spectrum Mobile to achieve some success. The analysts also believe that Charter’s mobile partnership with Comcast may have benefitted the former, especially in giving it some confidence to price its service higher than its rival. Interestingly, New Street Research has also increased its projections for Charter Communications’ average revenue per user (ARPU) in wireless by $2 per customer for this year, and then by $1 per customer for 2019.
Wait -- what about Altice, the number four biggest cable TV service provider in the country? Word is that it will also be entering into the wireless business soon. It might have some bit of catching up to do.