Sprint has entered into a two-month, exclusive agreement with both Charter Communications and Comcast Corp. that buys all parties involved some time to discuss possible partnerships.
Sources reportedly familiar with the matter tell The Wall Street Journal that one scenario that has been discussed involves Charter and Comcast investing to improve Sprint’s nationwide network in exchange for “favorable” terms with regard to using the network to offer its own branded wireless service.
Comcast just last month launched Xfinity Mobile, a branded wireless service that piggybacks on Verizon’s network. A similar arrangement with Sprint could allow Comcast to further expand its coverage blanket and offer more value to its customers.
It’s also entirely likely that Sprint and T-Mobile could continue their merger talks (after the exclusivity agreement with Charter and Comcast has expired). The two wireless carriers are reportedly still pretty far apart in their talks although some sources believe it may be the most likely outcome.
Charter and Comcast last month agreed to join forces in the wireless industry. Although they’ll offer separate services to customers, they’ll be working together behind the scenes to tackle issues such as customer billing and device ordering.
The Journal notes that, although much less likely, there’s also the possibility that the cable companies could jointly acquire Sprint. It’s unclear if regulators would approve a joint purchase of this magnitude (nor do we really know how they’d feel about Sprint and T-Mobile merging).
Lead image courtesy Keith Bedford, Reuters