(Bloomberg) — Charter Communications Inc. is offering a free wireless phone line to some new and existing customers as the battle between cable companies and their telecom rivals escalates recently.
Wireless customers who purchase a new cell line for $30 a month will get a second line for free, Charter said in a news release Monday. The company already offers Spectrum One, a $50-a-month plan that includes Internet access and one cell line.
The company has reduced the price of its mobile service to $30 a month from $45 as part of a promotion. No. 2 cable provider will announce the new prices in a media campaign starting this week.
Charter, whose broadband growth has been crushed by wireless home Internet and fiber services, is hoping the low-cost wireless offering will help stem some of the customer losses in its 41-state territory. The promotion comes at the same time that Charter broadband customers are being notified that their other bills will receive a $5 rate increase.
According to a Charter spokesperson, these price increases apply only to online customers in many markets.
For Charter and Comcast Corp., the largest cable TV provider, wireless service has been very attractive. Both companies added more than 300,000 mobile subscribers last quarter.
Bundling mobile and broadband promotions like Spectrum One is a way to revive broadband growth, Charter executives said last week.
“Spectrum One has the opportunity to drive the incremental growth of the Internet,” said Chris Winfrey, CEO, who will take over as CEO when Tom Rutledge steps down in December.
The Spectrum One package will compete directly with T-Mobile US Inc.’s $50 wireless home Internet and cell phone package. Verizon Communications Inc. also sought discounted plans for cable customers. In June, Verizon dropped the price of its entry-level broadband service to $25 a month for wireless customers with top-tier plans.
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