On October 27 and 28, Comcast and Charter Communications each released their third quarter results for 2022. Both Comcast's Xfinity Mobile and Charter's Spectrum Mobile posted record numbers of net subscriber additions for their cable mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) wireless services. Comcast reported 330,000 wireless net subscriber additions during the third quarter, bringing Xfinity Mobile's total subscribership to 4.95 million. And this last week Xfinity Mobile announced that it has surpassed 5 million subscribers. Meanwhile, Charter reported 396,000 net subscriber additions, bringing the total number of Spectrum Mobile subscriber lines up to 4.7 million.
Cable MVNO services – which include Altice – combine cable network facilities, including Wi-Fi hot spots, with spectrum leased from Verizon Wireless. This hybrid model enables cable MVNOs to serve subscribers outside of their respective traditional cable video geographic footprints. As described in the Free State Foundation's July 2022 comments to the FCC for its forthcoming 2022 Communications Marketplace Report, these mobile wireless offerings by cable MVNOs are an increasingly important source of intermodal competition, giving consumers an attractively-priced wireless alternative to mobile wireless carriers. Cable MVNO wireless offerings include 5G wireless, and they also are offered to consumers in bundles with fixed broadband as well as with cable video.
As observed in my May 2 blog post, cable wireless MVNOs are continuing to pursue strategies for offloading mobile wireless traffic onto their own licensed spectrum in select geographic areas, creating cost savings from reduced reliance on leased spectrum. The future prospects for cable MVNOs appear to remain strong, and American consumers stand to benefit from their innovative and competitive offerings.