Comcast’s less than two-year-old Xfinity Mobile ended the year with more than 1.2 million subscribers, but fell short of some analysts’ expectations.
Comcast reported 227,000 wireless net additions the fourth quarter, below BTIG Research estimates of 300,000 and investor expectations of 245,000. Overall Xfinity Mobile added 854,000 subscribers in 2018. That figure was also shy of investor expectations of 1 million for the year, according to a research note by BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk.
The wireless service also didn’t experience an uptick compared to third quarter when Xfinity Mobile gained 228,000 net subscribers.
Xfinity Mobile operates under an MVNO deal with Verizon (as does wireless service from fellow cable giant Charter Communications), utilizing the carrier’s 4G LTE network along with Comcast’s network of WiFi hotspots.
Comcast reported Xfinity Mobile EBITDA losses of $191 million for the latest quarter and $743 million for the full year.
Still, on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call, Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said the company is “very pleased” with the mobile segment’s performance so far, noting it has become an important part of bundling with Comcast’s broadband offering.
“We’ve learned the wireless can really achieve what we thought, which is to reduce churn for the customers who take all our products,” Roberts said, according to a SeekingAlpha transcript of the call. He said that Xfinity Mobile is on track to achieve “positive standalone economics.”
Comcast will start reporting Xfinity Mobile as part of its Cable segment in first quarter 2019 results.
Read about Comcast’s Q4 cable results here.