Frontier Communications will offer two Android devices — the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy Sill — as part of its plan to resell AT&T Wireless services in several markets announced today, Frontier President of Wireless & On-Network Video Don Banowetz said in an email to Telecompetitor. Customers will be able to get the HTC One X at no charge in exchange for a two-year commitment, Banowetz said.
But for now, he said, the iPhone is not part of the offering. “As our trial progresses, we’ll look at additional platforms,” said Banowetz.
Initially AT&T Wireless service is available from Frontier only in Everett, Kirkland, Lynnwood, Redmond and Bothell, Washington; Minneapolis South Metro and Orange County, N.Y.
“We are contemplating additional market expansion once we prove the concept’s merit,” said Banowetz. “Success criteria include unit sales, broadband inclusion and incremental revenue.”
Banowetz said economic and demographic factors, sales distribution availability, leadership teams and other factors were considered in choosing the five markets.
As for sales distribution, Banowetz noted that Frontier has three existing brick and mortar locations that can help support the AT&T Wireless offering, as well as two pending mall seasonal locations and three Frontier Mobile Vans that will be on hand at local community events to promote the new offering.
Frontier plans to offer AT&T Wireless in a bundled service offering that also includes Frontier broadband. Customers will receive a single bill and will contact Frontier customer service in the event of issues with either offering. Frontier’s customer service representatives will have the ability to do a “warm transfer” to AT&T if necessary, Banowetz explained.
In its announcement about the new offering, Frontier emphasized the added value that customers can get when they purchase Frontier broadband along with AT&T Wireless service through Frontier.
Banowetz noted that Frontier includes a wireless broadband service known as Frontier Wi-Fi with all current broadband offerings. That capability, he said, gives Frontier broadband customers who buy AT&T Wireless through Frontier the ability to use the Wi-Fi network and their landline broadband connection to handle data communications when they are at home, thereby saving on airtime charges.
“It provides our customers with the best value proposition and a superior customer experience,” said Banowetz.
Reselling another carrier’s wireless service is famous for being a very low-margin business. But perhaps the tie-in with landline broadband can make the margin picture a little more attractive for Frontier.
When asked about the low margins, Banowetz said, “We see this as a strategic fit affording Frontier with the opportunity to expand its suite of services as a one-stop provider.”
He also noted that the AT&T Wireless deal should give Frontier the opportunity to “reach a group of customers that might not have previously been available to Frontier.”