Nearly 700 small and mid-sized independent cable operators will now be able to offer mobile services without building their own mobile networks
The National Content & Technology Cooperative (NCTC) has signed a deal making AT&T the exclusive mobile carrier for members’ MVNO offerings. CEO Lou Borrelli said that NCTC chose AT&T for the partnership for a number of reasons but emphasised the importance of AT&T’s “current network availability and performance’.
The announcement comes about six weeks after NCTC finalised a partnership with Reach to provide a cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that will support the mobile program.
This is AT&T’s first major MVNO deal with the US cable industry. Borrelli told Fierce Wireless that “the fact that AT&T hasn’t done this with any of the other cable guys is something pretty significant”.
A “core group of members” have been involved in the research and negotiation process and these 50 members are expected to launch their mobile offerings as early as June. An additional group of 60-80 member companies have indicated an interest in launching MVNOs, although it is too early to be sure whether they will do so.
NCTC has indicated that there will be a range of onboarding options for members depending on their size, resources and degree of risk they are willing to shoulder. The simplest onboarding option could see MVNOs set up within a matter of weeks.
Members will be able to choose from a variety of pre-determined rate plans, but also have the flexibility to price their own products and bundle mobile and broadband offerings.