Sprint and cable giant Altice USA have set a deal that will allow Altice to provide wireless phone and data services to customers nationwide.
The so-called MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) agreement comes a day after Sprint and fellow telecommunications company T-Mobile called off merger talks. The maturation of the wireless services market is putting pressure on the largest providers to increase market share to improve margins. Sprint and T-Mobile are dwarfed in the industry by Verizon and AT&T.
At the same time, cable operators are trying to enhance their consumer offerings by tacking on wireless telco and mobile data services. To do so, they need access to a broad cellular network. Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator, has an MVNO pact with Verizon.
“We are incredibly excited to work with Altice USA on this innovative win-win solution that benefits both of our companies,” said Sprint President & CEO Marcelo Claure. “As content and connectivity continue to converge, we believe this approach will be a model for future strategic arrangements across multiple industries. …This agreement also gives us a unique opportunity to accelerate the work we are doing to massively densify our network across Altice’s U.S. footprint.”
Altice, a large telecom player in Europe and other overseas markets, has been growing its US footprint through the acquisition of cable assets including Cablevision and Suddenlink in 2015.
“Sprint is an ideal strategic partner for Altice USA given our shared vision around converged customer experiences,” said Altice USA Chairman and CEO Dexter Goei. “Altice is a convergent leader with more than 26 million mobile customers in countries including France, Portugal, Israel, and the Dominican Republic, and we are excited to bring our global expertise to the U.S. to enhance and strengthen our offerings. Working together we will be able to capitalize on Sprint’s vast mobile network, which fits well alongside Altice USA’s deep WiFi network, and leverage Altice’s global mobile experience to deliver greater value, more benefits and seamless connectivity for our U.S. customers.”