Would Comcast Buy Its Way Into The Mobile Market?

from the seems-a-bit-extreme dept

All of the cable guys these days are looking at ways to offer mobile phone service on top of their TV, broadband and phone offerings. Time Warner has been the most vocal, as stories of their mobile plans popped up every few months all last year until it was confirmed that they were doing an MVNO deal with Sprint. However, the cable guys have been so thrilled with the success of their bundling strategies that adding another service to the mix only seems better. Comcast, of course, being the big player in the space absolutely had to get involved. The only question was how. It looks like they’re doing the obvious thing and talking with Sprint (the company everyone seems to go to when creating an MVNO) and T-Mobile, who made it clear last year that they wanted to partner with cable companies (though, perhaps while keeping their own brand — unlike an MVNO situation). What’s interesting, though, about the Comcast rumors is the suggestion that Comcast isn’t just exploring a partnership, but the possibility of buying out one of these two providers. T-Mobile and Sprint are, of course, the only real possibilities for Comcast as they’re the only national mobile operators left not connected to a wireline telco. However, both deals seem unlikely. Sprint is still in the process of acquiring Nextel, and a full acquisition would probably be pricey and not necessarily in Sprint’s best interests. T-Mobile is owned by Deutsche Telekom, who has indicated they’re not so interested in selling right now (especially since T-Mobile USA generates a good chunk of its revenue). It’s much more likely that Comcast will end up doing a regular MVNO style partnership deal. However, Comcast has a history of going after big acquisitions that don’t fully make sense, so you can’t count it out entirely.

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