Comcast reported 1Q 2021 earnings today, and the company reported Xfinity mobile total subscribers reached 3.1 million at the end of the quarter. Xfinity mobile added 278K wireless lines in 1Q 2021, its best quarterly result ever.
The company reported that its wireless business broke even for the first time. Comcast executives discussed a growing opportunity ahead with the recent launch of new unlimited 5G plans.
“This past quarter we reached break even on a stand alone basis for the first time,” said Brian Roberts, Comcast Chairman and CEO, on today’s call. “We just announced a new unlimited family plan which can provide $600 in annual savings relative to other competitor family plans.”
The company noted it has 33 million customer relationships to leverage for mobile, and with only 3.1 million wireless lines, there’s a lot of runway left. Xfinity mobile subscribers have to also subscribe to Xfinity broadband.
Comcast views mobile as helping drive broadband acquisition and lower churn. The company reported 461K broadband net adds in 1Q 2021.
“We think it’s good for broadband, it is helping broadband, we see the results, and in terms of churn, and it’s just a growth engine for us period,” said David Watson, president & CEO, Comcast Cable on the call today. “You’ll probably see a bit more packaging with broadband and mobile, but that’s not really different than anything that we’ve been talking about doing.”
Both Comcast and Charter rely on Verizon’s network, acting as an MVNO, but also rely on their extensive Wi-Fi networks for mobile coverage. Verizon and Comcast recently renewed that relationship and both talk quite positively about it.
“That whole relationship requires a healthy partnership with a wireless MNO and in the case of Verizon, we’re really pleased with the partnership,” said Roberts “ We structured it so that we’re able to make these unlimited offerings in a way that [allows] our profitability [margin] and [adds] real value for consumers and in a way that Verizon is happy that their network is getting used.”
As Xfinity mobile total subscribers continue to grow (Charter as well), Verizon seems the best positioned from a competitive standpoint. Combined, Comcast and Charter are over 5 million mobile lines and growing, and Verizon’s wholesale business unit only grows with these retail wireless competitors’ growth.