Charter goes mobile

Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) has introduced its own mobile service, Spectrum Mobile, available to existing and new Spectrum ...

Charter pumping $1 billion into biz fiber net
Charter pumping $1 billion into biz fiber net

Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) has introduced its own mobile service, Spectrum Mobile, available to existing and new Spectrum Internet customers. Devices from Samsung and LG are available currently, and additional devices are expected to be available soon.

Spectrum Mobile is similar to Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Xfinity Mobile service in that it combines 4G-LTE coverage from Verizon (NYSE:VZ), with which Charter has an MVNO agreement, with Charter's network of Spectrum WiFi hotspots.

Also similar to Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile customers can choose one of two ways to pay for data, Unlimited for $45 a month, or By the Gig at $14/GB. Both plans include free nationwide talk and text, and customers can switch data plans during the month so they only pay for the data they need.

Charter has been working toward providing mobile service since at least the middle of last year, and much of that work has been in collaboration with Comcast.

Last May, Charter and Comcast announced a mobile collaboration agreement under which the two companies would explore potential opportunities for operational cooperation in their respective wireless businesses. This April, Charter and Comcast announced a 50/50 partnership focused on the development and design of backend systems to support each operator's mobile service. Charter today declined to comment on that partnership's role - if any - in Spectrum Mobile.

In March, Charter hired Danny Bowman to be its chief mobile officer, a newly created position. Bowman has more than 25 years of experience in the mobile communications industry, having held executive positions at Samsung, Sprint, Nextel, Cellular One and LeEco North America.

In its Q1 earnings call in May, Charter CEO Thomas Rutledge said, "Ultimately, the goal is to use our mobile service to attract and retain cable bundle, multi-product customers."

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