Charter, Comcast, Altice USA gain 694,000 wireless subs in Q2

Cable MVNOs continue to make strides in the wireless space, with Comcast, Charter Communications and Altice USA collectively snagging 694,000 mobile subscribers in the second quarter.

That figure marks a 26.2% jump from the 550,000 net adds the cable operators added in Q2 2021. It also represents a bigger year on year increase in wireless customers, compared to a 13.4% bump in mobile subs from Q2 2020 to Q2 2021.

Comcast, Charter and Altice ended this quarter with approximately 9.2 million mobile subscribers. Although Comcast led the charge for most net adds in Q2 2021, this time it's Charter who's come out on top.

Charter Communications

Charter reeled in 344,000 mobile subscriber adds for its Spectrum Mobile business in Q2. The net add went up from 265,000 in the same period of 2021, with the operator rounding out this quarter to around 4.3 million mobile customers.

Mobile revenue jumped to $726 million, up 39.8% from $519 million in Q2 2021.

Though Spectrum Mobile incurred $797 million in costs for the latest quarter – due to factors like device and customer acquisition costs – Charter CEO Tom Rutledge recently said he thinks the mobile business has potential to drive EBITDA growth in the long run.

Wireless services also complement household connectivity, Rutledge pointed out at an investor conference in May. He said while most household traffic comes from a fixed broadband connection, a lot of that traffic travels between mobile devices on the home Wi-Fi connection.


Comcast slightly trailed Charter in wireless subscriber gains, with 317,000 net customer additions in the second quarter, compared to 280,000 mobile adds in the same quarter last year.

The company’s Xfinity Mobile MVNO business now has 4.6 million subscribers. Revenue-wise, the wireless segment was a bright spot for Comcast at $722 million – up 30% from $556 million in Q2 2021.

Comcast is facing hurdles with its core broadband business, coupled with some pressure from fixed wireless access (FWA) competitors. But the company plans to continue pushing Xfinity Mobile, with CEO Dave Watson stating on the latest earnings call Comcast’s “barely scratched the surface” in wireless opportunities.

Cable operators like Comcast and Charter could possibly further boost their subscriber counts, through customers who want to reduce their overall telecom bill. An April survey from Cowen unveiled around 23% of postpaid subscribers would consider switching from their current provider to a cable MVNO.

Altice USA

Though Altice came in third place by adding 33,000 mobile lines in the quarter, the figure was a substantial increase from the 5,000 net additions in Q2 2021.

Altice’s Optimum Mobile business took the top spot in customer satisfaction among full service wireless providers, according to the 2022 American Customer Satisfaction Index. All told, Altice now has 231,000 total mobile subscribers.

Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei noted on the recent earnings call the operator's one gigabyte mobile promotion "drove the majority of the additional customer growth for the quarter."

Revenue for Altice’s mobile segment came to $26.4 million, up 27.5% from $20.7 million in the same period last year.

Goei hinted earlier this year about a potential new MVNO deal with T-Mobile to revamp its mobile offer. He also expressed optimism that Optimum Mobile could stand up to the likes of Comcast and Charter in the wireless space.

“We don't see there's any reason why we can't achieve as good of results, if not better, than our peers there,” Goei said on Altice’s first quarter earnings call in February.