Will 5G Wireless Help Comcast Xfinity Mobile Grow? — Jeff Kagan

Jeff Kagan  |

Image source: Comcast

Comcast Xfinity Mobile is the first cable TV competitor to offer 5G wireless services. Comcast, Charter and Altice are the three largest cable television companies. They all are wireless resellers. Earlier this year Spectrum Mobile said it would launch 5G, but Xfinity Mobile just did.

Let’s take a look at how the cable TV industry is doing in wireless.

After first trying and quickly failing the enter the wireless space several years ago, the cable TV companies tried a second time. Whether wireless is ultimately profitable for cable TV is an open question, but they seem to be doing a better job this second time around. That’s good news for them and their shareholders.

A few years ago, Comcast was the first cable TV company to get back into wireless with its Xfinity Mobile service. Like many others, Comcast is an MVNO wireless reseller of Verizon Wireless services. A year later, Comcast was followed by Charter Spectrum Mobile, and eventually Altice Mobile.

Moving to 5G wireless is important for cable TV companies

Offering 5G is an important move for the cable TV MVNO resellers. Without it, they will not be competitive going forward since this is what users will want. They don’t want to lose out on the wave of customers who want 5G. They also do not want to risk losing their existing customers who would switch to other companies that do offer it.

That’s why it is vital that every cable television competitor which sells wireless begins to offer 5G. They must remain competitive.

Getting 5G is not automatic for users. Xfinity Mobile customers must choose to opt-in to the 5G data plan on the app. And the range of handsets that can use 5G is also limited.

So far, the only two 5G phones they will offer are the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+.

These are good entry points, but don’t expect things to change or expand quickly. Xfinity Mobile 5G is not available everywhere yet. In fact, it is only available in the center of certain cities nationwide with a plan to expand from there over the next several years.

So, today this is more of a public relations move.

Xfinity Mobile does not have its own wireless network. The company resells the Verizon Wireless network with an MVNO agreement. So, wherever Verizon is, Xfinity Mobile can be under their resale agreement.

5G is expanding, however, and will ultimately become the service we all use over the next several years. This is just the first inning of this new ball game.

Thus, this announcement simply means Comcast intends to remain a player in the wireless space going forward. That’s good news today and going forward for its users.

Compare Xfinity Mobile to AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile

Based on my tests over recent years, I have determined that dealing directly with a wireless carrier like AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile means users often get better quality voice calls and can get more features and functionality from their service and devices.

I have tried many MVNO resellers and, while they often offer a lower price, there are restrictions, and the quality is not up to the same standards as doing business directly with a wireless network.

If you are already a Xfinity Mobile customer and are happy, things should not change. If you are considering switching to Xfinity, keep these things in mind.

As the industry continues to merge and change over time, Comcast understands how important it is to become a real player in the wireless space. So does Charter Spectrum, Altice, Cox and every other cable TV provider.

Top two competitors are Comcast NBC Universal and AT&T WarnerMedia

The fact is, different industries like wireless, telecom, Internet, pay TV, streaming TV and more are coming together and being offered by single companies.

Today, the top two companies in this new combined space are Comcast NBC Universal and AT&T WarnerMedia. Other wireless carriers and cable TV companies only compete in a smaller and more limited space.

Rumor is that Charter Spectrum is now talking with AT&T Mobility to offer its wireless services going forward. Like Comcast, Charter Spectrum started out with Verizon Wireless. This means a provider switch may be in the cards.

That raises some questions about the Verizon Wireless MVNO service. Why is Charter considering switching away? Is the problem price, quality, customer service or something else?

Charter Spectrum Mobile may switch from Verizon to AT&T

It will be very interesting to see what direction Charter takes next, but the writing seems to be on the wall.

So, congratulations to Comcast Xfinity Mobile for taking this next step to 5G in the wireless evolution. We can also expect the same from Charter Spectrum Mobile and Altice Mobile at some point.

5G is in its early stages, but any way you slice it, wireless is continuing to expand, and the cable TV industry will be a player to one extent or another.

The next several years will be full of excitement as we move to 5G in this rapidly changing, growing and transforming industry. Some companies will be winners and others will be losers. So, keep your eyes open.


Jeff Kagan is an Equities.com columnist. Kagan is an Industry Analyst, Thought Leader and Influencer focused on Wireless, Telecom, Pay TV, Cloud, AI, IoT, Tele Health, Healthcare, Automotive and Self-Driving cars. Email him at jeff@jeffKAGAN.com. His web site is www.jeffKAGAN.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/jeff-kagan/

_____

Equities Columnist: Jeff Kagan

Source: Equities News

Watchlist

Symbol Last Price Change % Change
AAPL

     
AMZN

     
HD

     
JPM

     
IBM

     
BA

     
WMT

     
DIS

     
GOOG

     
XOM

     
BRK.A

     
FB

     
JNJ

     
WFC

     
T

     
NFLX

     
TSLA

     
V

     
UNH

     
PG

     

Markets