Charter, Comcast explore wireless partnership with Sprint

Charter, Comcast explore wireless partnership with Sprint

"To be clear, a cable/MVNO deal with Sprint should not preclude a Sprint/T-Mobile merger and might in fact offer the extra economics needed to entice DT (T-Mobile parent firm Deutsche Telekom) into a deal", Piecyk wrote.

Shares slipped in early European trading and were higher in Asia on Tuesday as investors awaited remarks by the US and European Central Bank chiefs.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,434 as of 1 p.m.

Sprint tumbled to the fourth position in the United States, and therefore, owner Softbank is looking to ink a deal with T-Mobile, which is at the third spot, to increase its scale and subscribers.

Wells Fargo Senior Analyst Jennifer Fritzsche noted Sprint has a history with the cable industry - the latter were original equity holders in Sprint PCS, she said.

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So far, Mr. Roberts has been reluctant. According to one of the sources, a previous nine-year-old network-resale agreement between Comcast and Sprint was never activated. Charter Communications inherited a similar agreement via its acquisition of Time Warner Cable, and has said it has plans to introduce a wireless product next year.

In April, Comcast unveiled a wireless service with an unlimited data plan, making it the first major US cable provider to enter the highly competitive wireless market.

Xfinity Mobile has already launched, and Charter is expected to offer their version of a wireless product next year. The talks could also explore the possibility of Charter and Comcast jointly acquiring Sprint outright or at the very least buying a minority equity investment. The sources of today's report say that if Sprint does strike a deal with these cable companies, that doesn't mean that it won't continue seeking a merger with T-Mobile, too.

Adding Sprint to the equation would strengthen these cable wireless efforts. The two cable giants agreed to an unprecedented pact last month that stated neither could do a wireless deal without the other's consent or inclusion for 12 months, so it does seem they are intent on working together in some sort of wireless tie-up. The company also bought $1.7 billion in wireless spectrum at a Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Broadcast Incentive auction in April 2017, to bolster its wireless services.

Talks of a possible MVNO agreement involving Sprint are not that surprising, said on analyst to his clients.

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