T-Mobile, according to a report published by the Wall Street Journal.
In launching its wireless service next year, Comcast is making full use of a mixture of Wi-Fi connections as well as spectrum that it has leased from industry leader Verizon Wireless, which basically means that Comcast will be acting as a sort of mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) on the Big Red’s network. However, in order for the company’s wireless service to really take off, it may need to have its own wireless network.
This is where T-Mobile plays an important part. By acquiring the third biggest wireless carrier in America, Comcast would put itself in a good position to take advantage of T-Mobile’s growing subscriber base and existing nationwide wireless infrastructure. If there is any truth to all the speculation, buying T-Mobile would certainly be a big win for Comcast. According to T-Mobile’s latest quarterly report, the mobile operator has gained about 753,000 branded postpaid phone net additions, and added 650,000 prepaid net customers. The wireless carrier also took the opportunity to point out how its rival carriers have contributed to the number of T-Mobile’s new customer additions, with more than 250,000 postpaid phone and prepaid net customers coming from Verizon Wireless, almost 400,000 from AT&T, and nearly 300,000 from Sprint.
For its upcoming wireless service, Comcast is planning to initially target its own customers, and even considering bundling its mobile offering in order to entice its current subscribers to not end their Comcast subscriptions. But if it acquired T-Mobile, the cable TV giant can make a more robust push in establishing its presence in the wireless industry, certainly making a bigger impact than what a simple MVNO on Verizon’s network can manage. However, Comcast should know that making a move to acquire a wireless carrier will surely set a precedent, essentially encouraging other cable operators (like Altice, for instance) to compete with Comcast in trying to buy T-Mobile.