While many traditional wireline companies are looking for ways to offer wireless service, SureWest appears to be taking the contrarian view. They just announced the sale of their fixed wireless broadband business to Yonder Media. That wireless sale joins previous wireless asset sales by SureWest, effectively divesting SureWest of all wireless assets.
“The sale of our fixed wireless Internet assets is an appropriate move for the company as we continue to execute on our plan to divest non-core assets from the business and focus on providing the most advanced telephone, Internet and television services, and an outstanding customer experience,” said SureWest CEO Steve Oldham in a company statement. Indeed, SureWest appears to be staking their future on broadband and video.
Why give up on wireless though? Apparently SureWest believes its former wireless footprint could not build up enough scale to be worth the trouble. Better to sell it now and use those proceeds to invest in their highly regarded broadband strategy. In some regards, the strategy makes a lot of sense. They’ve decided that they will live and die with wireline broadband. Better to become the best wireline broadband option available, and not get distracted by wireless.
But, the strategy is not without risk. The continuing evolution of wireless poses significant risks to all wireline broadband carriers. If technologies like 4G, and whatever comes after it, prove to be adequate wireline broadband replacements for enough subscribers (doesn’t have to be all subscribers), will SureWest revisit this ‘all in’ wireline bet?