With the merger in place, these two companies will both be exploring the "operational efficiencies" of the wireless industry involving everything related to it. Under the deal, both companies have agreed to cooperate on figuring out things together instead of attending to independent merger talks with other wireless carriers.
The merger was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Essentially, both parties entered into the agreement as a way to protect their early investments. Since this is an industry they're starting to break into, they definitely need to protect the investment they are putting into it. Although this looks like a small announcement, the merger actually has some pretty big implications for TV, online media, and cellphone service. Charter CEO Tom Rutledge explained on a press release that this merger will enable the company to be more competitive and offer more pricing options for its users.
Just last month, Comcast expressed its plans for Xfinity Mobile. This is a new wireless service they intend to launch in the middle of the year under Verizon's network. On the part of Charter, it has since expressed its plans of launching its own wireless service by 2018. They even have a separate reseller agreement with Verizon.
Right now, there is no clear indication that the merger between both companies will expedite the launch of Charter or even the idea that the two will take away the spot of T-Mobile or Sprint as the third and fourth largest carriers in the country.
So why are cable companies so adamant to go wireless? To think about it more deeply, traditional mobile brands like Verizon & AT&T are already considered key figures in entertainment, media, broadband, and tech. With the cable companies entering into the picture, there is sure to be an overlap of interests. But basically, each of these companies are hoping they could entice new customers as well as keep the loyal ones interested by offering a mishmash of bundle offers under phones, TV, and internet.
Eventually, there will be a modest consumer impact with the merger. But even if they have merged for this venture, the two companies will continue to sell to their own customers. Since Comcast will be offering services for those who love cable TV yet don't use wireless, they won't be touching base with Charter's consumer offer. It is important to note, however, that Charter purchased Time Warner Cable a year ago, which operates under the Spectrum broadband.
When Comcast launches Xfinity Mobile service, subscribers may get to choose between a $45 or $65 per month per line "unlimited" plan. They have the option to add up to five lines under the plan. Customers who are on Comcast's "best" X1 video package can enjoy lower monthly prices reserved for them. Since there is no per line access fee, each user will get to enjoy the same unlimited talk and text services.