Charter scores 686,000 new mobile lines in Q1 2023, Comcast reports 355,000

Comcast added 355,000 net wireless lines in its first quarter 2023. During the same quarter, Charter added a whopping 686,000 Spectrum Mobile lines — an indication that its 12-month Spectrum One bundled promotion is paying off in garnering new subscribers.

Comcast now counts 5.7 million lines for its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service, while Charter counts 6 million total lines.

Comcast CFO Jason Armstrong said the 355,000 lines during Q1 was a record high for a first quarter. “There is clearly demand for a converged offering,” he said. “We are extremely well-positioned to take advantage of this trend and have a long runway for growth as less than 10% of our broadband accounts currently take our mobile offering.”

Similarly, Charter said that just over 10% of its internet broadband customers now have mobile service, and its expects mobile penetration to meaningfully grow over the next several years.

Comcast reported wireless revenue of $858 million during the quarter, while Charter reported mobile revenue of $497 million for the quarter.


Comcast Cable David Watson said, “Our strategy is to focus very much on our core service offerings of, by the gig, which we still have and use, unlimited tiers, and it gives us a strong value proposition to all segments that we serve.”

Watson added that Comcast leverages mobile in all aspects of its go-to-market strategy, including acquisition, base management and retention.” He said mobile does very well in all three, but especially well in base management “as we go to existing customers and provide a great upgrade opportunity for them.”

He talked a little bit about promotions, which are a hot topic in wireless. “We do go in and out in terms of promotions with gift cards, some device subsidies that we've historically done, really no different there, but we also had a $50 combined broadband mobile offering that all helped. There was a little bit of a lift there and a great value message to the existing base.”


In October 2022, Charter rolled out its Spectrum One promotion that offers internet, advanced Wi-Fi and a single mobile line for $49.99/month for 12 months.

Both Comcast and Charter have large installed bases of Wi-Fi hotspots, which help them to offload their MVNO traffic and save money on wholesale costs they pay to Verizon.

Comcast’s Watson said Wi-Fi is “a terrific offload mechanism” that the company can use across its entire footprint. Whereas, he said the big wireless carriers “face trade-offs, whether it's geographic or capacity.”

Charter’s Winfrey said the company still plans to deploy its CBRS spectrum for additional offload of mobile traffic. And he added, “We are already live in one large market” where “it’s going very well.”

Winfrey indicated that Charter’s mobile customers spend the vast majority of their time on Charter’s Wi-Fi network, and only about 10% to 15% of their time on Verizon’s network as part of its MVNO agreement with Verizon. And he said more traffic is incrementally moving to Charter’s Wi-Fi and will move to CBRS over time.