Charter Communications says it added 615,000 new subscriber lines to its Spectrum Mobile wireless phone service during its most-recent financial quarter, ending the three-month period with over 5.29 million lines.
The data point was reported as part of the company’s quarterly earnings statement released Friday morning. It puts the startup mobile virtual network operator nearly on par with Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile, which has 5.31 million lines.
Like Comcast, Charter offers Spectrum Mobile as a value-add service to customers of its Spectrum TV and home Internet products. The mobile phone service, which runs on top of Verizon’s fourth- and fifth-generation (4G LTE and 5G) network, is seen as one way to help lock in customers to Spectrum’s various products at a time when consumers are leaving legacy pay TV packages for cheaper streaming options.
“The growth in wireless is more than offsetting the declines in video and wired voice,” Craig Moffett, a financial analyst who focuses on the telecommunications and media industries, said in a research note published Friday. “And while broadband unit growth has obviously slowed, broadband [average revenue per user] growth is re-accelerating.”
Charter added 105,000 broadband Internet customers during its recent three-month financial quarter to end with over 30.4 million residential and small business Internet customers. Spectrum Mobile and Spectrum Internet helped pushed the company’s revenue to $13.4 billion for the quarter, an increase of 3.5 percent compared to the previous year.
Jessica Fischer, the chief financial officer at Charter, said the company intends to increase the number of subsidized, rural customers it reaches with broadband Internet from 200,000 customers in 2022 to around 300,000 customers this year.
Last month, Charter said it intended to deploy the next generation of broadband connectivity, called DOCSIS 4.0, throughout its footprint over the next few years. The new broadband standard will allow Charter to offer more Spectrum customers faster download and upload speeds beyond 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) throughout its service footprint.