Astound Broadband has become the latest cable television and Internet player to sell wireless phone service.
Last week, the sixth-largest cable company says it is rolling out a limited test of its new Astound Mobile service in parts of Massachusetts and Texas this month, with other areas supported by the end of the year.
Astound offers residential and business telecom services under various brand names, including Wave Broadband, RCN and Grande Communications. When its mobile service fully launches, it will be available to 4 million customers across 12 states, including California.
“Astound’s entrance into the wireless market comes at a time when the need for fast, reliable, high-value broadband and mobile services is at an all-time high and more critical than ever,” Jim Holanda, the chief executive of Astound, said in a statement.
The new Astound Mobile will operate as a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, that relies on T-Mobile’s 4G LTE and 5G wireless networks to deliver voice and high-speed data to customers. Prospective customers can bring their own devices, or they can buy a new phone from Astound. Various plans will be offered for data-hungry and light phone customers alike.
“Through our relationship with T-Mobile, we’ll bring exceptional choice, value and savings, and competitive, award-winning services that customers need to stay connected to their world,” Holanda said.
Wireless phone service has become increasingly important to cable and broadband Internet companies, who are looking to lock-in customers with bundle packages. Comcast kicked off the trend by offering Xfinity Internet-only customers access to wireless phone service powered by Verizon several years ago; Charter’s Spectrum and Cox Cable have also launched similar products.