Xfinity Mobile Growing Quickly

An SEC filing Comcast published today showed that Xfinity Mobile has been adding subscribers quickly. In the last quarter, Xfinity Mobile added 261,000 new lines.[1] Overall, Xfinity Mobile had a net increase of 816,000 lines in 2019, bringing its total subscriber count at the end of the year to slightly over two million lines.[2] It’s now fair to say that Xfinity Mobile is one of the largest MVNOs in the U.S.

By my math, Xfinity Mobile’s subscriber base grew by about 66% in 2019.[3] It will be interesting to see whether Comcast can keep that kind of growth rate going forward.

By one method of accounting, Xfinity Mobile looks unprofitable. However, the brand seems to be moving in the right direction towards profitability:[4]

Cable Communications results include a loss of $116 million from our wireless business, compared to a loss of $191 million in the prior period.
One could argue that way of looking at the financials leaves out something important. Subscribing to Xfinity Mobile makes it harder for a Comcast customer to cancel their internet service. Looking exclusively at the balance sheet of Comcast’s wireless segment leaves out the benefits Comcast receives as Xfinity Mobile reduces churn in the company’s other product segments.

At the moment, Xfinity Mobile presents a pretty good value proposition for current Xfinity Internet customers. Going forward, I’m not sure whether Comcast will keep Xfinity Mobile’s prices competitive to encourage growth or increase prices to make each subscriber more profitable.

Footnotes

  1. From page 3 of the filing: “In addition, Cable Communications added 261,000 wireless lines in the quarter.”
  2. See pages 3 and 4 of the filing.
  3. 0.816/1.236 = 0.66
  4. The excerpt comes from page 4 of the filing.

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