Cincinnati Bell's pending sale of its wireless assets may be a sign of the challenge regional wireless operators face in competing against behemoths like AT&T Mobility. But the other part of the story is that it will free up resources to enhance Fioptics, its growing consumer fiber-based broadband service, and its business and wholesale arms.
Cincinnati Bell's decision to sell its wireless spectrum to Verizon Wireless for $210 million and shutter its wireless business was necessary because the unit just wasn't succeeding in the market, according to Cincinnati Bell CEO Ted Torbeck.
Cincinnati Bell, the nation's ninth-largest wireless carrier, announced that it will shut down its wireless network and sell its spectrum--essentially an acknowledgement that it cannot compete in today's wireless industry. So what does this mean for the rest of the nation's smaller regional wireless players that continue to struggle to compete with the Tier 1 wireless operators?
Cincinnati Bell confirmed that it will sell its wireless spectrum licenses to Verizon Wireless for $210 million, a move that should allow it to more effectively focus on its growing wireline-based Fioptics broadband offerings for consumers and small to medium businesses.
Verizon Wireless will buy Cincinnati Bell's wireless spectrum in a deal valued at $210 million, effectively ending the regional carrier's wireless operations. According to Strategy Analytics, Cincinnati Bell is the nation's ninth largest wireless carrier.
AT&T is poised to complete its acquisition of Cricket provider Leap Wireless and Leap's 4.57 million customers. The transaction is the latest in a long line of consolidation in the wireless industry that has removed players ranging from MetroPCS to Clearwire to Alltel.
Cincinnati is the latest city to lobby Google Fiber to be the next destination for its 1 Gbps fiber to the home (FTTH) service, reports WLWT News 5.
Cincinnati Bell may be much smaller than its larger ILEC brothers AT&T and Verizon, but it has come to the same realization that having a fiber-based broadband strategy for consumers and business will be a new revenue driver.
Cincinnati Bell has set an ambitious target to pass 60-70 percent of the city's homes with its fiber to the home (FTTH)-based Fioptics product. "We see a path to about 60-70 of the city being covered and that's within our return thresholds today," said Leigh Fox, CFO of Cincinnati Bell, during the Raymond James 35th Annual Institutional Investors Conference.
Cincinnati Bell reported that its fiber-based products were once again a major factor in its fourth-quarter 2013 earnings, with Fioptics revenues rising 49 percent year-over-year to $29 million.