Bundling Mobile Service Helps Maintain Competitive Edge

Randy Sukow


One of the ways that cable TV companies have sought to hold their share of the consumer broadband market has been to lease spectrum capacity from mobile phone companies and resell it in bundles with their broadband, TV and landline phone services.  It is a well-established trend in most urban areas, and it is no longer safe to assume that the practice will be confined to urban areas.

NRTC Mobile Solutions has the capacity to help its electric and telco members offering broadband services match the cable companies’ marketing appeals as they start making incursions into rural areas. NRTC has long mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) experience, helping its members establish nationwide mobile reach at affordable rates for rural subscribers.

“We are seeing more and more news of these [cable] companies expanding into rural areas … aggressive expansion,” said  Zach Nichols, manager, Business Development/Implementation for NRTC Mobile Solutions, during a recent webinar, Protect Your Turf! Learn How to Arm Yourself with Mobile Bundles.  “They’re constantly looking to expand into rural communities.”

Cable companies in early 2020 served about 3.7 million mobile phone/internet lines, dominated by Comcast’s Xfinity service and Charter Communications’ Spectrum service. By the end of 2022 that customer base had grown to just short of 10 million representing about 16 percent of the overall mobile phone market. Other cable companies are adding mobile service to their bundles as well.

A “staggering” amount of cable companies’ advertising budgets have been diverted to broadband/mobile bundles, Nichols said. They are still primarily broadband companies. The bundling ads are “about adding broadband subscribers. And if they are already a subscriber, it’s about retaining that subscriber base,” he said.

By working with NRTC to create mobile bundles of their own, members can operate a fully white-label service and handle back office/billing and other functions at a low cost-of-entry. “You shouldn’t have to hire any additional staff to run this,” Nichols said. In addition, NRTC can help members get wholesale access to some of the latest mobile devices, including the Apple 14 and Samsung Galaxy S23.

Developing a broadband/mobile plan could also aid telco and electric internet providers as other forms of competition enter rural areas. Some mobile phone companies are setting up their own fixed wireless home internet services with 5G-based connections.

“How are we going to defend ourselves against all of these different threats?” Nichols asked. “NRTC Mobile Solutions has the products that allow you to easily turn up a white-label wireless offering that’s affordable and will make you competitive.”

For more information, contact NRTC Mobile Solutions at mobile.sales@nrtc.coop. Also, find a recording of Nichols’ presentation on the NRTC website.

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