Charter’s MVNO agreement with Verizon
Charter Communications (CHTR) continues to remain upbeat about the prospects for its MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) business. During Charter’s 3Q16 earnings conference call, its management reiterated that the company has activated the MVNO agreement with Verizon Communications (VZ) but is unlikely to bring a product to market until the end of 2017, with no significant ramp up expected until well into 2018.
On December 6, 2016, Charter Chief Executive Officer Tom Rutledge spoke at the UBS Global Media & Communications Conference for investors. According to a FierceWireless report, Rutledge stated: “We have this MVNO, which we’ve exercised…It’s true that it doesn’t give you deep integration, so it has its limitations in terms of building a future product set.”
Rutledge also stated that “Charter has applied for regulatory approval for 5G experiments,” though it “doesn’t see the need to do anything immediately on the MVNO front,” since “the company is unlikely to have a product to market until the end of 2017.”
According to the same FierceCable report, in 2011, Verizon purchased an AWS-1 (advanced wireless services) spectrum from Comcast (CMCSA), Bright House Networks, Cox, and Time Warner Cable. As part of this agreement, Verizon has offered access to use the company’s wireless network “in a potential MVNO offering.”
Increase in mobile video data traffic
Wireless networks are increasingly coming under pressure about their speed and latency as more and more viewers stream videos over the Internet. The huge chunk of mobile data traffic comprises of video, which drives wireless carriers data consumption.
According to Cisco Systems’ (CSCO) VNI (Visual Networking Index) at the end of 2015, video constituted ~61% of mobile data traffic in the US. It’s anticipated that by the end of 2020, this figure will expand to ~77% of mobile data traffic in the US.