Comcast, Charter Extend Wireless Contract with Sprint

Sprint Corp., the wireless carrier of the U.S., is in discussion with Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications Inc. about a joint venture to enhance the wireless offerings of the two U.S. cable companies, as per a sources having a deep knowledge of this issue.

Sprint, handled by SoftBank Group Corp. of Japan, has made an entry into a 2-month period of restricted negotiations with Comcast and Charter that has put its amalgamation talks with T-Mobile US Inc., the U.S. wireless service company, on hold until the end of July 2017, the sources said this week.

Comcast, Charter Extend Wireless Contract with Sprint

A contract with Sprint might be built on a joint venture that Comcast and Charter declared previous month. The 2 cable operators have decided that they will not do contracts in the wireless industry for a time frame of 1 year without the consent of each other.

Comcast has already revealed tactics for a wireless service, utilizing the airwaves of the biggest telecommunications provider in the U.S., Verizon Communications Inc., and its own Wi-Fi hotspots on the basis of a contract between the 2 that was made way back in 2011.

Charter and Comcast are now in discussion with Sprint to safeguard a similar system-resale contract on improved terms, the sources claimed. A previous 9-year-old system-resale contract between Sprint and Comcast was never triggered, one of the sources stated.

The Wall Street Journal, which initially reported on the discussions, also claimed that Comcast and Charter were in first-round talks to take an equity share in Sprint as a fraction of a contract. Such a contract will permit Sprint to spend more in its system, the media giant added.

One of the sources claimed that a marginal equity deal was in talks but that it might not be part of any contract. Comcast and Charter can also compete for mutually obtaining Sprint, but that is doubtful, the sources further added.

Comcast, Sprint, and Charter refused to comment.

A contract with the cable providers over its system does not indicate that Sprint may not look for a merger contract along with T-Mobile, which is handled by Deutsche Telekom AG of Germany, the sources claimed.

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