Kagan: Spectrum Mobile has an edge over Xfinity Mobile in 5G wireless

Kagan: Spectrum Mobile has an edge over Xfinity Mobile in 5G wireless

Spectrum Mobile from Charter costs less and offers a more reliable connection to wireless data service compared to Xfinity Mobile from Comcast. The problem is these two companies do not compete. That means there is zero competitive pressure to keep all competitors at their best. That is not good news for the customer.

Let’s take a closer look at why Spectrum Mobile beats Xfinity Mobile. The wireless industry has grown and changed so much over the past several decades. MVNO resellers are showing rapid growth. 

Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile, Optimum, Cox Mobile, Hargray Mobile

Today, MVNO resellers like Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile, Optimum, Cox Mobile, Hargray Mobile and many other competitors are popular because they cost users less than traditional wireless networks. There are also many non-cable TV resellers, large and small like Cricket, PureTalk, Consumer Cellular and many more. 

One, in today’s poor economic environment, people are looking for a way to save money and get better service. 

Two, there is another important reason why Spectrum Mobile has the edge over Xfinity Mobile. They provide a more reliable wireless data experience for users. I will explain what that means in a moment. 

Weak economy forcing users to MVNO resale wireless to save money

To better understand, let’s pull the camera back to get a longer-term and wider perspective.

First, it is important to understand why the cable television industry got into wireless in the first place. Years ago, they were losing lose market share. More competitors, large and small were eating their lunch.

So, cable TV needed a solution, and fast. They developed a strategy to slow user loss and stabilize their business.

That’s why they created what I call the sticky-bundle of services. 

This includes multiple services including cable TV, Internet, VoIP telephone and wireless. In recent years it has expanded to other services like streaming.

The theory was the more services a customer uses as part of a larger bundle, the larger the discount they get, and that makes it less likely they will move to a competitor, or churn. 

This was a brilliant move by the cable TV industry. It worked… for a while anyway.

Cable TV competitors Hulu, Sling, Dish, DirecTV, Netflix, YouTubeTV 

You see, years ago customers started moving away from the traditional and higher cost cable TV services to both save money or for more innovation.  Traditional cable television was costing more each year. So, customers increasingly churned away. 

Today, there are many competitors to the cable TV industry. Companies like Hulu, Sling, Dish, DirecTV, Netflix, YouTubeTV and more.

The sticky bundle worked for a time. However, now the losses are picking up once again giving customers more choices for savings, innovation, new thinking and more. 

Sticky-bundle helped cable TV company’s slow customer loss

Users need to understand that all cable TV wireless is not the same. It all depends on the contract each provider has with their wireless network. Some are better than others.

The winner from the perspective of the customer is Spectrum Mobile for two reasons. One, they are lower in cost. Two, they are higher in priority when it comes to access of wireless data services.

This gives the Spectrum Mobile customer a better wireless experience for the user. 

Not all cable TV wireless services are the same

You see, the hidden secret is not all cable TV wireless resellers are the same. They can offer different prices, and better-quality or worse quality-wireless data service, depending on the contract they have with the wireless network they resell.

Spectrum Mobile offers both lower prices and higher reliability of access to the wireless data network.

The edge in price is obvious. It’s lower. The edge with network access is not as obvious but is important to understand.

When a network is busy, a hierarchy is used to see who gets access and who gets blocked.

Example: if a cell tower can handle 100 users, when more users try and use it, they are blocked.

Certain resellers have an advantage over others because of their contract. 

Using the example of a 100-user tower, when more users try, users of certain services which have a higher priority mean they get access, as the others are dropped off.

Some wireless resellers get preference in wireless data availability

That may not sound fair, but that’s the way the wireless business works.

So, if you are not happy because your signal is getting blocked or dropped, your only answer is to switch carriers to one with a higher priority.

The problem with that scenario is there is no way for users to determine which carriers have a higher priority. You must simply try each and compare. It takes time and effort but can be very much worth your while.

If you are trying others, make sure you don’t screw up the order or you can lose your phone number forever. The best alternative may be to get a new, temporary phone number with each new service. When when you choose the carrier you want, only then port over your phone line once. 

Solution to create better wireless experience for all reseller users

One solution to this problem would be for all cable TV competitors to be able to sell wireless in all regions. That way to keep from losing market share, they would all have to be at the top of their game.

The only problem with this is cable TV companies are not interested. Remember, they only got into wireless as a solution to losing pay TV market share. They seem to have no real interest in wireless as a stand-alone business opportunity. 

So, that means users are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

If all cable TV companies competed with each other on wireless, then every competitor would be forced to keep up with the others just to hang onto their market share. That only makes sense. 

At the very least, to help users, all wireless competitors should be required to state in their advertising and marketing what level of priority they hold and how that compares to the competition in the marketplace.

There could even be a generic chart comparing all players. Showing the differences. Give the customer the ability to understand the differences and make an educated choice in wireless services.

Will that happen? Don’t count on it. But at least that explains the good and bad parts of choosing the best wireless service for you. 

Jeff Kagan

Jeff Kaganhttp://jeffkagan.com

Jeff is a RCR Wireless News Columnist, Industry Analyst, Key Opinion Leader and Influencer. He shares his colorful perspectives and opinions on the companies and technologies that are transforming the industry he has followed for 35 years. Jeff follows wireless, wire line telecom, Internet, Pay-TV, cable TV, AI, IoT, Digital Healthcare, Cloud, Mobile Pay, Smart cities, Smart Homes and more.

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