Sprint and cable giant Altice USA have set a deal that will allow Altice to provide wireless phone and data services to customers nationwide.
The MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) agreement comes a day after Sprint and fellow telecommunications company T-Mobile called off merger talks. The maturation of the wireless services market is putting pressure on the largest providers to increase market share to improve margins. Sprint and T-Mobile are dwarfed in the industry by Verizon and AT&T.
At the same time, cable operators are trying to enhance their consumer offerings by tacking on wireless telco and mobile data services. To do so, they need access to a broad cellular network. Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator, has an MVNO pact with Verizon.
“We are incredibly excited to work with Altice USA on this innovative win-win solution that benefits both of our companies,” said Sprint President & CEO Marcelo Claure. “As content and connectivity continue to converge, we believe this approach will be a model for future strategic arrangements across multiple industries. …This agreement also gives us a unique opportunity to accelerate the work we are doing to massively densify our network across Altice’s US footprint.”
Altice, a large telecom player in Europe and other overseas markets, has been growing its US footprint through the acquisition of cable assets including Cablevision and Suddenlink in 2015.