Inflection Points: The Quad-Play Market and Broadcast and Carrier Collaboration

Mobile Industry News for the Week of July 3, 2017

The “quad-play” market has yet to flourish in the US, but according to Reuters, consumers may soon be purchasing their landline, Internet, television and mobile service from the same provider. This will be especially plausible if cable and carrier companies merge. The wireless and broadcast industries also united this week when T-Mobile agreed to fund PBS’ transition to new frequencies after the TV station lost spectrum during the Federal Communication Commission’s wireless auction. The stories on our minds are below.

All Good Things Come In Four? — As cable companies enter the wireless industry, customers will have more opportunity to buy their landline phone, Internet, television and mobile service all from the same provider, according to Reuters. The biggest hurdle to implementing these quad-play bundles on a large scale is that many cable companies are still regional, whereas wireless services are national. Consumers also experience bill shock when they see all four bills rolled into one. Compared to other European countries, US households are adopting quad-play bundles at a much slower rate. According to Strategy Analytics, only 10 percent of US households use quad-play. This is in part because carriers like Verizon and AT&T are more focused on their wireless service and haven’t had much success with quad-play in the past. Even so, the US market could experience a surge of these services if cable and carrier company mergers are realized.

T-Mobile Helps PBS Out — T-Mobile bought a lot of spectrum at the Federal Communication Commission’s wireless auction earlier this year and is now sharing some of its winnings with PBS, reports PCMag. During the auction, public television stations like PBS lost out on some of the broadcast spectrum that they normally utilize. Furthermore, the FCC didn’t offer funding for those stations to move to other frequencies, also known as “repacking.” As such, T-Mobile has agreed to pay for the repacking process, allowing 38 million Americans in rural areas to continue accessing local TV stations like PBS.

What news stories are on your minds this week? We’d love to hear what stories you’re dialing into.