Charter Communications’ mega-acquisition of rival cable operators Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Bright House Networks has been given the go signal by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In its rather long filing detailing the approval of the deal, the FCC addressed the possibility that this trio of business entities may look to venture into wireless service territory, including introducing a new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). On top of that, the FCC also gave a rough idea of the companies’ plans to further expand their public Wi-Fi coverage, which could potentially affect other players in the wireless industry.
Charter, TWC and Bright House agree that the acquisition would allow New Charter to become a new player in the wireless industry, launching mobile solutions by way of improved Wi-Fi rollout, licensed spectrum deployment, or an MVNO business model -- or maybe even a combination of all these.
The three way merger between these business entities is estimated to be worth about $66 billion. The deal would essentially pave the way for the creation of the second biggest cable operator serving 24 million customers, and now it only needs to be granted regulatory approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which could happen next week when the commission votes for a decision. Interestingly, neither Charter, TWC, nor Bright House have specifically revealed plans to offer an MVNO service once the deal is done. It was the FCC who mentioned it in its report, saying that an MVNO launch might happen anyway, regardless of the three way merger.
It bears noting that other major cable companies are considering the MVNO route, too. For instance, in late 2015, Comcast had announced that it was planning to execute on its MVNO deal with Verizon Wireless. This year, it is quite possible that Comcast will start testing a particular MVNO service.
In Charter Communications’ case, the company has always been open about its interest in entering into the wireless industry. Indeed, by acquiring TWC and Bright House, Charter would be putting itself in a better position to be an entrant into the world of wireless. In the acquisition proposal that it filed in 2015, Charter promised to establish 300,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots in less than half a decade’s time after the merger deal is closed. When taking into consideration the 53,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots that Bright House has already rolled out, plus the existing ones that TWC has likewise deployed, New Charter’s combined Wi-Fi coverage certainly looks promising.
Wirefly Is America's Most Trusted Source For All Cell Phones, Plans, TV, and Internet Deals
Wirefly offers great deals on a large selection of smartphones, cell phones, tablets, mobile hotspots, and other wireless devices for the nation's most popular carriers. Use Wirefly’s innovative cell phone and plan comparison tools to ensure you are getting the best deal on the market. Shop with confidence knowing that Wirefly wants to help you find the best prices on cell phones, cell phone plans, TV, and Internet service.