Altice USA to sell Sprint's mobile service

Altice USA to sell Sprint's mobile service”

The announcement came just one day after Sprint and T-Mobile said they had called off merger talks, ending months of speculation that the nation's two smallest major wireless network operators would join forces.

Altice USA, the fourth-biggest US cable operator, will harness Sprint's network to offer customers wireless service through a new strategic MVNO agreement.

Altice, the fourth-largest US cable company, will begin selling mobile service via Sprint's CDMA network - similar to Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile.

Sprint is the fourth-largest mobile carrier in the United States after AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.

Comcast Corp, the largest cable operator in the USA, recently began selling cellular service through Verizon's network.

Altice is the latest USA cable operator to try its hand at the wireless business. Sprint also made note that its open to other MVNO deals with cable companies, if those deals give Sprint access to their networks.

"As content and connectivity continue to converge, we believe this approach will be a model for future strategic arrangements across multiple industries including cable, tech and others", Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said in a statement. Partnering with Altice should enable Sprint to leverage that spectrum more quickly while minimizing spending on its network. Nationally, Altice has almost 5 million customers.

The companies announced the partnership Sunday. Comcast's Xfinity Mobile wireless service debuted earlier this year and has about 200,000 customers so far, while Charter is slated to launch its own wireless service utilizing Verizon's network in the second quarter of 2018.

The agreement makes good sense, as the amount of required capital is limited and Altice USA has wanted to keep its mergers and acquisitions firepower for its cable operations, said another Wall Street analyst. Altice NV, which Patrick Drahi leads, offers cellular services in many countries including Israel, France and Portugal, and is the parent of Altice.

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