While it services just over 100 towers today, Cable One is looking to aggressively expand its cellular backhaul business, said the MSO's CEO, Thomas Might and CFO Kevin Coyle
"We have 25 to 30 towers currently under construction … and we'e currently in negotiations on hundreds more," Coyle said Monday while speaking at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.
Might described Phoenix, Ariz.-based Cable One as a "follower" — a cable company content to let larger MSOs try out new technologies and new business strategies "to make sure it's been proven, it's a good business decision, there are profits if it's a new product line."
In the case of the backhaul business, the strategy has left Cable One playing catch-up
"I wish we had been on the original band wave of when there was a lot of it going on," Might added. "It's going to take us a while to catch up and get a fair amount of share there. Hopefully, with the needs of the cell companies there will be a lot more towers, micro cells, and whatnot going up even in our market, so we can play some catch-up."
Might, meanwhile, continued to tout Cable One's migration to residential broadband and business services, which he said accounts for 53 percent of the MSO's revenue. Pay-TV subscribers are down about half since the cable company began de-emphasizing video.
Where are the subscribers going? Might said about two-thirds are migrating to AT&T's (NYSE: T) U-verse and DirecTV, with the other third cutting the cord and choosing over-the-top programming options.
Might also said that Cable One doesn't follow the larger MSOs on everything. VOD is a good example. "Nobody has ever made a good business out of VOD," he said.
- listen to this webcast (reg. req.)
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UPDATED: This story was updated on June 1 to reflect transcript corrections provided by Cable One.