Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei told investors yesterday that his company is ahead of schedule in terms of developing the wireless infrastructure and integration needed to execute on an MVNO agreement with Sprint established last year.
"In terms of where we are on the Sprint, let's call it densification of their network side—we’re probably ahead of where we thought we would be relative to when we signed the MVNO agreement,” Goei said to investment analyst during Altice USA’s first quarter earnings call. (A transcript of yesterday’s Altice USA earnings call was provided by Seeking Alpha.)
“I think there's a tremendous amount of goodwill amongst ourselves and our colleagues over at Sprint to deliver the best and most dense network that we can before we launch, let alone helping our friends over at Sprint to deliver a better product to their existing customers,” Goei added. “So I would say we’re ahead on our densification, significantly improving our Wi-Fi capabilities for the offload. And we have signed up with a core network provider as well, so we are in already deployment stage there, both on the IT side as well as on the core network side. So more full sprint ahead here, no pun intended. And the goal was, I think we said in last quarter, that we would be launching in the first quarter of next year.”
Like Comcast and Charter, which are both in various stages of execution on their own MVNO agreements with Verizon, Altice USA sees wireless as a way to drive sales of bundled services.
“Our core network development has begun with investment into our Wi-Fi networks and IT platforms,” Goei said. “And we are connecting to Sprint's micro-sites to support Sprint's network specification, which will benefit Altice USA's MVNO service. We are confident this will be a new area of growth allowing us to expand the bundle of services we offer customers at very economic cost to us compared to our peers.”
For his part, Goei sees the just-announced merger between Sprint and T-Mobile US as actually helping the MVNO agreement.
“Clearly, we would benefit from any incremental positive things that could happen in the merger,” he said. “And I think we would benefit from the roaming agreement that Sprint has with T-Mo irrespective of the closing of the transaction. So I think it is business as usual, but expectation's that, if anything, it will be net positive.”