WOW goes wireless gaming with Reach Mobile

WideOpenWest (WOW) will soon join a growing list of US cable operators that have added mobile to the broadband offering.

But rather than make a deal directly with a mobile network operator, WOW connects with Reach Mobile, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). Reach Mobile tells Light Reading that the partnership with WOW leverages T-Mobile’s network and the broader Reach platform is integrated with all major carriers in the United States.

WOW should use mobile to develop and retain its broadband customer base. WOW ended the third quarter of 2021 with approximately 509,000 broadband subscribers.

(Source: Sipa USA/Alamy Stock Photo)

WOW said it plans to offer the service, which will be branded “WOW! Mobile Powered by Reach”, at a discounted price to its broadband Internet customer base. WOW noted that it will also sell the co-branded mobile offering on a standalone basis.

WOW has not released specific pricing or packaging for the new offering. But WOW has promised to offer a range of plans, allowing customers to receive up to $10 off their mobile bills and other savings when customers take multiple lines on certain plans.

A website dedicated to the new offering says the new bundle will launch this spring. The contract-free WOW/Reach Mobile service will include unlimited calls and texts.

Reach Mobile offers a variety of usage-based plans (starting at 2 gigabytes for $20 per month), as well as unlimited plans starting at $45 per month (25 gigabytes per month over 4G and 5G before moving to 2G). Reach Mobile sells smartphones and offers bring your own phone options. The company notes that it is integrated with more than 45 mobile operators worldwide and has 5 million daily active users.

WOW's new mobile and wireless services will also feature the Reach Mobile brand.  (Source: WideOpenWest)

WOW’s new mobile and wireless services will also feature the Reach Mobile brand.
(Source: WideOpenWest)

The WOW-Reach Mobile deal takes shape months after Don Schena, director of customer experience at WOW, said the company was looking “very closely” at a mobile strategy that could involve an MVNO partner.

WOW’s mobile offering is coming to fruition as the company moves forward with a “broadband-first” strategy focused on high-margin home broadband. The company also announced a plan to extend fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks to at least 200,000 homes and businesses by 2027, with the possibility of expanding that total to 400,000 locations.

Building the Broadband/Mobile Bundle

WOW’s plan to bundle home broadband with mobile shares some similarities with strategies underway at Comcast and Charter Communications, which have MVNO deals with Verizon, and Altice USA, which has partnered with T-Mobile.

In most of these cases, cable operators are using mobile to win and retain broadband customers. These strategies had some early success, as Comcast, Charter and Altice USA now have 7.7 combined mobile lines in service.

WOW’s deal with Reach Mobile could herald similar deals to come among other small and medium-sized cable operators.

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—Jeff Baumgartner, Editor, Light Reading

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