NCTC Signs Reach Mobile to Provide Turnkey Tech for Cable Group's Big Wireless Launch

Reach Mobile
(Image credit: Reach Mobile)

The National Content and Technology Cooperative has set up Reach Mobile as the provider of foundational cloud-based tech services, moving the group's more than 700 members closer to entering the U.S. consumer wireless business. 

Reach will provide key software-as-a-service (SaaS) support to the venture, creating vital components including apps and virtual stores, much in the same way it has underpinned WideOpenWest's recent entry into the mobile market via a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreement to use T-Mobile's wireless network. 

The NCTC hasn't announced which of the three major U.S. carriers it's going to partner up with -- or such an MVNO agreement going to actually happen. NCTC did say in its Reach Mobile announcement that a master MVNO deal will be touted "in the coming weeks." 

For its part, Reach's tech supports AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. 

The Reach announcement didn't say anything specific about devices. But Reach does offer WOW! customers access to a fairly full range of options. 

A visit to the landing page for "WOW Mobile Powered by Reach" reveals availability of the Apple iPhone XR, as well as a robust spectrum of Android-based handsets from makers including Google, Samsung, LG, Motorola and OnePlus. 

"NCTC members now have access to the simplest way to launch an MVNO in the market," said Harjot Saluja, founder and CEO of Reach Mobile, in a statement. "Additionally, NCTC members will be getting access to a platform that supports a full portfolio of broadband connectivity solutions, starting with mobile."

Reach's turnkey solution will provide participating MSOs an app in Google Play and Apple App Store, as well as a virtual store to shop for plans and gadgets. (It's doubtful that the NCTC's tier 3 . 

Participating NCTC members will also be able to bundle mobile plans with core services like home broadband and pay TV video.

And while they won't have to hire engineers to manage the service, NCTC members will get real-time analytics that show conversion, purchase-to-activation ratio, churn rates, promotions, influencer campaigns and more.

NCTC's entry into the mobile market comes as most U.S. tier 1 and 2 cable operators have already plunged into the business ... and have found the waters invitingly warm. 

Comcast and Charter, which have attached their respective mobile business strategies to the hip based on very similar MVNO agreements with Verizon, both said they finished the year strong with major customer additions to each finish 2022 with 5.3 million wireless customer lines. 

With Comcast's Xfinity Mobile adding 365,000 lines in Q4, and Charter's Spectrum Mobile tacking on a whopping 615,000 through enticing bundling options, the Nos. 1 and 2 U.S. cable companies are growing their mobile offerings much faster, at least customer-wise, than even AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon right now. 

Both cable operators offload much of their service's wireless traffic to their Wi-Fi hotspot networks, which they share. And both MSOs, which also collaborate on mobile tech, are developing the use of Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) to further expand the capabilities of their respective wireless gambits. 

The nation's third largest cable operator, Altice USA, followed Comcast and Charter into the mobile market back in 2019.  

Meanwhile, Cox Communications just entered the mobile business in January, and Mediacom appears ready to do the same

Now, what one analyst has termed "junior cable," wants a piece of the action, too. 

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!