As Cable Companies Move into Mobile, Customers Benefit: The Kiplinger Letter

The new cable bundle — home internet and mobile — is gaining steam. And the competition means good news for consumers.

To help you understand the cable companies' fight to gain and retain customers as consumers continue cord-cutting, and what we expect to happen in the future, our highly experienced Kiplinger Letter team will keep you abreast of the latest developments and forecasts (Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe). You'll get all the latest news first by subscribing, but we will publish many (but not all) of the forecasts a few days afterward online. Here’s the latest…

Look for cable companies to keep expanding their mobile phone business.  The new bundle — home internet and mobile service — continued to gain steam in the third quarter of this year. Cable providers are offering deals to get customers to switch from traditional cellular providers, and are finding that many stick around.

Comcast scored nearly 300,000 new mobile lines in the third quarter, upping its total to 6 million. Spectrum Charter added nearly 600,000 lines and has 7.2 million total. Altice has 300,000 mobile lines connected to its mobile wireless service. Cable companies rent wireless networks from big cellular providers for regional or nationwide coverage. 

As consumers cut cable TV at a fast clip, the growth of wireless is a big win for cable companies. Comcast says only about 10% of current broadband customers also subscribe to their wireless offering. What’s the potential market for the service? 

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Eventually, one-third of cable broadband customers could sign up for mobile plans,  giving cable companies plenty of room to run, with millions of likely new subscribers.   The wireless competition is good news for consumers and businesses and small businesses should look for deals on mobile plans from cable firms in their area. 

This forecast first appeared in The Kiplinger Letter, which has been running since 1923 and is a collection of concise weekly forecasts on business and economic trends, as well as what to expect from Washington, to help you understand what’s coming up to make the most of your investments and your money. Subscribe to The Kiplinger Letter.

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John Miley
Senior Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter

John Miley is a Senior Associate Editor at The Kiplinger Letter. He mainly covers technology, telecom and education, but will jump on other important business topics as needed. In his role, he provides timely forecasts about emerging technologies, business trends and government regulations. He also edits stories for the weekly publication and has written and edited e-mail newsletters.

He joined Kiplinger in August 2010 as a reporter for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, where he wrote stories, fact-checked articles and researched investing data. After two years at the magazine, he moved to the Letter, where he has been for the last decade. He holds a BA from Bates College and a master’s degree in magazine journalism from Northwestern University, where he specialized in business reporting. An avid runner and a former decathlete, he has written about fitness and competed in triathlons.