Comcast is increasing the capacity of its broadband network and pairing it with its highly successful five-year old wireless service to enhance the value of its high-speed internet offering, according to Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts.
Comcast’s wireless service, Xfinity Mobile, continued its dramatic climb with 32 percent growth during the first-quarter of 2022 with its best results for line net additions since the launch of the service in 2017, Roberts told investors during Comcast’s Q1 2022 earnings call on Thursday.
“We’re playing offense with mobile, Roberts (pictured) said. “We believe our strategy on accelerating growth in wireless is indeed working. We’re fully integrating mobile into everything we do at Comcast Cable.”
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Comcast’s wireless segment posted revenues of $677 million, compared with $513 million in the same quarter a year ago. The company now has 4.3 million wireless lines and has picked up 318,000 new lines during 2022 so far. Xfinity Mobile in Q4 2021 reached profitability on a standalone basis for the first time since it was launched, Roberts said.
“We’re offering our customers the convenience of one relationship for all their connectivity at a tremendous value,” he said. “We have the opportunity to further improve our economics for Xfinity Mobile longer term … We have a ubiquitous, consistent, great network that we go to market with … we’re well-positioned to compete and we’re going to compete aggressively.”
The Philadelphia-based company rolled out Xfinity Mobile for small businesses in an offering called Comcast Business Mobile in 2021. During the first quarter of 2022, Comcast turned on its first 5G radios and will be launching a field test in June, Roberts said.
Comcast’s Cable Communications unit—which includes high-speed internet, voice, video, wireless and business services—saw a 4.7 percent bump up during the first quarter of 2021. The segment generated revenue of $16.54 billion compared with $15.81 billion in Q1 2021. High-speed internet posted a revenue increase of 8 percent to $6.10 billion, up from $5.60 billion a year ago.
Comcast’s Cable Communications increased its total number of customer relationships by 194,000 in the quarter, with business customer relationships increasing by 9,000 during quarter. The segment now has 34.4 million customers. Total broadband customer net additions in Q1 were 262,000.
Comcast’s Business segment pulled in $2.40 billion during Q1, up 10.6 percent compared to $2.17 billion during 2021’s first quarter. The company’s business unit has been very successful in the small- to midsize-business space in the past decade with its connectivity services. Michael Cavanagh, Comcast’s senior executive vice president and CFO, said that an increase in average rates, an increase in the number of customers receiving Comcast services, and the recent Masergy acquisition, drove its Business segment’s momentum during the first quarter of the year.
The cable giant closed its acquisition of Masergy in October in a deal that is helping Comcast build up its SD-WAN and cloud-based security chops and reach more enterprise customers.
For the quarter that ended March 31, Comcast reported revenue of $31.01 billion, a 14 percent increase compared with first-quarter 2021’s result of $27.21 billion. Net income in the quarter was $3.55 billion, a 6.6 percent increase from last year’s Q1 $3.33 billion net income. The cable giant posted adjusted earnings per share of 86 cents, up 13.2 percent compared with 76 cents per share for the same quarter of 2021.
Roberts, during the call, touted the company’s joint venture with Charter Communications that the two companies revealed on Wednesday. The venture will have both cable providers offering consumers set-top boxes for video streaming in a relationship that will help both Comcast and Charter compete with video entertainment players like Roku and Amazon. The venture will include developing X1, Comcast’s set-top box system for streaming video, while Charter, which owns cable brand Spectrum, will distribute streaming devices based on Comcast’s technology.