Late last year, Altice USA unveiled its plans to launch an MVNO service under Sprint’s network. Even though the cable company has not yet launched this service, an executive recently elaborated more on those plans.
Dexter Goei, chairman and CEO of Altice USA, talked about the company’s plans to launch the MVNO service in last week’s quarterly conference call with analysts. Although the cable company is following the footsteps of its two competitors that have earlier ventured into the MVNO market, the executive shares that they intend to have a more profitable run. One way the company intends to do this is by making this into “a profitable standalone business.”
Goei shared that they “don’t anticipate, even in our first year of operation, to lose money on this. There may be working capital timing differences relative to handsets and how we treat those, but in terms of losing money, we are not going to lose money.”
These comments made by the CEO show a lot of confidence in the MVNO service they intend to launch in the future. Considering its competitors (Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile and Charter’s Spectrum Mobile) have reportedly spent $ 1.2 billion and $ 116 million, respectively. Goei believes Altice will not be losing any money on either EBITDA or EBITDA-less capex basis.
Compared to its rivals, Altice plans to offer 4G LTE and voice-over-LTE services right away when they launch next year. As explained by the CEO,
“Recall we have a full infrastructure-based MVNO, which has attractive economics and flexibility features for us. We have a dedicated and experienced mobile management team which will lead the development, launch and ongoing mobile strategy,”
So far, Altice has hired Jean-Charles Nicolas to spearhead the U.S. mobile operation through his experience as the deputy CEO and CFO of the company’s Dominican Republic operation.
“In terms of network development the densification of Sprint’s network, which we’re helping with our AirStrand deployment is comfortably ahead of schedule as are the upgrades to and expansion of our Wi-Fi network. We are also testing CBRS spectrum with equipment in a 3.5 gigahertz band as this may be good complementary capacity for us.”
Sprint CTO, John Saw, earlier confirmed that they have deployed “tens of thousands of strand mounted small cells.” This shows progress for Altice’s MVNO service, since it promises to keep costs down by running mobile connections through the technology. Both Charter and Comcast have previously announced that they are testing this same technology, which shows Altice could be a step ahead of its competitors.