WSJ: Charter and Comcast to keep in lockstep on wireless buyouts, tech

United States cable giants Charter (which operates under the name Spectrum) and Comcast will enter into an agreement today that would allow the two to share Wi-Fi hotspots for use on wireless service offerings to consumers while limiting either company from transacting for a wireless carrier over the next year unless the other company consents to the purchase, sources to The Wall Street Journal claim.

The telecom companies are just a couple of the many players that are being discussed as potential acquirers of T-Mobile and Sprint. Verizon is said to be interested in linking with Charter. No proposals have been made public yet.

Comcast recently debuted to its wireline customers Xfinity Mobile, a MVNO service utilizing Verizon’s network while primarily relying on Xfinity’s nationwide grid of 16 million Wi-Fi hotspots for data transmissions. Under this agreement, Comcast could also add Charter’s 500,000 hotspots to its network. Charter could opt to do the same with Comcast’s hotspot network if it opts to offer mobile service (on the back of Verizon) as it says it will in 2018.

The two would also share any technical expertise in the wireless field. Comcast and Charter, if its plans go through, are perched on a hybrid approach to data connections and would place stress on voice calls between LTE and Wi-Fi. Transitioning between the signals is still a rough process that needs R&D to fix up and that’s what the agreement seeks to ease on the companies.

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Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.