A new MVNO provider launched today, Altice Mobile. It is operated by Altice USA, the nation's 4th largest cable provider. Altice USA joins two other cable providers that are already established in the MVNO marketplace, Comcast with its Xfinity Mobile brand and Charter Communications with Spectrum Mobile. Both established brands operate as MVNO's on the Verizon network. Altice USA however, is taking a different approach with its mobile brand. The company describes itself as being an "infrastructure-based MVNO." It recently built out a network of over 19,000 small cells through a partnership with Sprint. That infrastructure will allow Altice to operate more economically compared to other MVNOs in the marketplace and it won't have to rely as much on its network partners. The company will have more control over the features and customer experience that it can offer compared to a typical MVNO.
Altice Mobile's primary network partner is Sprint, and the company has a roaming agreement in place to use AT&T's network. Should the Sprint and T-Mobile merger be completed Altice USA's deal with Sprint will be expanded to include a 7-year wholesale agreement with T-Mobile. The expanded deal will grant Altice USA access to T-Mobile's network including its 5G infrastructure and give it more time to strategically plan the further build-out of its own wireless infrastructure.
Altice Mobile's Wireless Plan Appears To Be The Cheapest Offering In The Marketplace
Altice Mobile will offer only one wireless plan. The plan will give subscribers unlimited talk, text, and data with the first 50GB of data at 4G LTE data speeds for $20/month. After a subscriber exceeds 50GB of data usage in a billing cycle, video streaming and mobile hotspot will be throttled to 2G data speeds, while all other data will remain at LTE speeds. The price includes a $5/month auto-pay discount and is a limited time offer exclusive to Altice USA's Optimum and Suddenlink customers. Customer's who take advantage of the limited time offer will be locked into that price point for life. Those who do not have Optimum or Suddenlink internet or cable service will pay $30/month with auto-pay for service which is still competitively priced compared to a majority of the wireless marketplace. Taxes and fees will cost extra. A maximum of 5 lines are allowed per account. There is no multi-line discount pricing available.
Besides the unlimited talk, text, and data the plan will also include mobile hotspot. Mobile hotspot speeds are limited to 600Kbps, and streaming video while using hotspot will be limited to a resolution of about 480p. Service will also include unlimited international text messaging and talk from the USA to more than 35 countries. Subscribers will also have unlimited talk, text and data access while traveling in those 35+ countries. Only the first 1GB of data will be available at 4G LTE data speeds while traveling after that speeds are reduced to 2G data speeds. Customers can add additional international 4G LTE data priced at $15 for 1GB good for 15 days, or $30 for 3GB good for 30 days.
Available Phones With Altice Mobile
Altice Mobile says that it can support a majority of unlocked phones, and offers an IMEI device checker to confirm if your phone is eligible for use on their network. Eligible Optimum and Suddenlink customers will have the option to purchase smartphones at their corresponding retail stores. Customers will be offered the choice to pay for a new phone in full or for device financing with zero-down, zero-interest and 36-month financing.
Altice USA's press release today says that its mobile service offers unbeatable pricing and I find that hard to argue with. I'm not aware of a better deal out there for the price, at least for a single line customer. The closest option that comes to mind is Sprint's unlimited kickstart plan which offers unlimited talk, text, and data to customers for $25/month. Besides that offering, Altice Mobile's pricing blows away the competition, and you can see that for yourself by comparing it to other cheap plans in the marketplace.