Looks like Comcast isn’t the only cable company looking to jump into the wireless business using Verizon’s network.
Charter Communications CEO Tom Rutledge on Wednesday said the cable operator has asked to activate an agreement with Verizon that would allow it to launch wireless services for its customers.
“Similar to Comcast we do have an MVNO agreement and we have told Verizon that we’re interested in pursuing that agreement,” Rutledge said at an investor conference. “We’re in the process now of effectuating it.”
Rutledge said Charter has also discussed MVNO deals with other companies as it looks to build out its network capabilities “both terrestrially and wirelessly.”
Like Comcast, Rutledge said Charter’s vision of wireless service includes the hybrid use of Wi-Fi and cellular, as well as a further extension of Charter’s network “at some point in the future.” In a mobile scenario, part of that expansion would include densification via small cells, Rutledge said.
“To get from where we are to true mobility is going to require the use of our Wi-Fi, it’s going to require the relationships we have potentially with MVNOs and it’s going to require us to actually build out the network at some point in the future,” Rutledge said. “But when you think about the new architecture five years down the road for mobility, you’ll have a traditional cellular umbrella but you’ll also have these really small cells. I think we’ll have one of those in every house and every business we serve.”
Though he did not provide any timeline for the launch of wireless service or package or pricing details, Rutledge did say Charter – again, like Comcast – would bundle wireless in with its other services. The move, he said, would help Charter drive penetration “much deeper.”
Rutledge’s comments came just one day after Comcast CEO Brian Roberts revealed that his cable company is planning to launch wireless service on Verizon’s network by mid-2017.