Cable operators will claim 10% of the U.S. wireless market by 2020, New Street Research predicted, stealing most of those customers from the biggest wireless carriers.
T-Mobile and Sprint have increased their share of the U.S. mobile market in recent quarters, New Street analysts observed in a research note this week, even as growth in the industry has slowed to a crawl. And while the market has seen some aggressive promotions, the smaller operators haven’t had to engage in an all-out price war to poach customers from Verizon and AT&T.
The two companies—and perhaps other cable operators—will combine to capture 23 million wireless customers by 2020, New Street said. T-Mobile and Sprint are “relatively insulated” from those newcomers, according to the analysts, and may actually benefit from increased competition. But the nation’s two largest mobile network operators are vulnerable.
- The cable operator will market mobile services within its existing footprint rather than launching a nationwide offering, bundling wireless with its existing TV, internet and landline phone services.
- The incumbents may bear even more of the losses given their dominance at the high end of the market where cable companies will be focused.
- Verizon is working to add Yahoo to a portfolio that includes AOL and its own Go90 video offering, while AT&T hopes to acquire Time Warner for $85 billion after pocketing DirecTV last year.
“Comcast will be marketing an offer by the middle of next year; we expect Charter to be a couple of quarters behind,” the analysts wrote.