Telecom companies and cable providers, who have traditionally been seen as opposites in the industry, are becoming more similar to each other in terms of services offered. The concept of convergence, which involves bundling voice, video, and internet services into a single package, has been gaining momentum for the past two decades.
In today’s digital age, fast and reliable online access is crucial, and both telecom and cable companies are focusing on providing high-speed broadband services as a foundation. They then layer additional services on top of this internet connection, such as streaming platforms. This convergence strategy has been happening for years but is now more noticeable due to the rise of streaming services competing with traditional cable TV offerings.
Recently, there have been developments that highlight the resemblance between cable and telecom companies. Comcast, a cable provider, announced that it is launching its own wireless network to improve service for its subscribers. T-Mobile, a telecom company, is reportedly collaborating with a fiber company to expand its landline presence.
Both sides are trying to expand into each other’s territories, similar to the battles over triple play services in the past. However, the stakes are now higher with cord cutting reducing the profitability of traditional pay-TV. Companies are therefore stepping out of their comfort zones and seeking growth by enticing customers to switch to one provider for multiple services.
Cable companies have lost a significant number of video customers in recent quarters, but they have made progress in offering discounted wireless services. By leveraging their Wi-Fi networks, cable providers can offer cheaper plans than resellers like Verizon. This strategy has allowed them to gain market share and compete with wireless players.
On the other hand, telecom companies like Verizon and T-Mobile are focusing on acquiring customers for their 5G home internet services. These companies are capitalizing on consumer frustrations with cable companies, such as setup difficulties and complex pricing. The goal is to establish a customer base now and later offer speed upgrades through improved infrastructure.
Telecom companies also have the opportunity to bundle home wireless services with mobile wireless, enticing customers with generous offers and discounts. The objective is to increase their share of the customer’s wallet and reduce churn, or the rate of customer turnover.
While both telecom and cable companies are embracing convergence, T-Mobile’s CEO does not see fixed wireless access replacing cable or fiber entirely. However, the convergence of telecom and cable companies continues to reshape the industry and provide more options for consumers.