U.S. cableco says it will push ahead with MVNO launch on Verizon’s network in 2018.
Charter Communications this week distanced itself from reports linking it with a merger with mobile operator Sprint.
A Wall Street Journal report (subscription required) cited sources late last week who claimed that Sprint suggested merging with the U.S. cableco to form a new entity that would ultimately be controlled by Sprint parent, Japan-based Softbank.
The deal would have created a converged player able to mount a stronger challenge to the likes of AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and T-Mobile US.
"We understand why a deal is attractive for Softbank, but Charter has no interest in acquiring Sprint," said Charter, in a statement emailed to Total Telecom.
The WSJ report comes after rumours in late June that Sprint was in exclusive talks with Charter and Comcast about hosting their respective MVNO services.
"We have a very good MVNO relationship with Verizon and intend to launch wireless services to cable customers next year," Charter said this week.
Comcast has also already begun offering an MVNO service, called Xfinity Mobile, to its broadband and TV customers. In addition, Charter and Comcast have agreed to work exclusively together to support each other’s mobile efforts. Under the terms of the partnership, neither party to can agree material transactions in the mobile market without the other’s consent.
Needless to say, a merger with Sprint would constitute a material transaction that would have serious implications for Charter’s relationship with Comcast.
Earlier this year, Sprint was understood to have been negotiating a merger with rival T-Mobile US, and while both sides have reportedly met to discuss a potential tie-up, a deal has yet to emerge.