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Comcast Xfinity Mobile Will ‘Play A Big Role’ In 2022, Says CEO

‘Mobile is a great product, but when you add it together, it just gives value to every single segment... there will be a mobile component in everything we do,’ Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said of the cable giant’s plans to bundle its services with wireless in 2022.

Comcast’s financial success in 2021 was led in part by its by strength in its booming wireless and business services segments and the cable giant pledged to scale its massive broadband business in 2022 through bundling services, according to Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts.

Comcast fell short on high-speed internet customer net adds for the full year after last month warning about lower-than-expected broadband growth for Q4 2021. The total number of new high-speed internet customers, including residential and business users, was 1.1 million. The company added 17,000 new business services customers during the quarter, a decrease from the 26,000 customers that Philadelphia-based Comcast added during Q4 2020.

“We believe that the broadband conditions in 2022 will continue to be impacted by COVID and within this environment, we will strike the right balance between subscriber acquisition against a large and expanding addressable market against long term, profitable growth,” Roberts said during the company’s Q4 2021 earnings call on Thursday.

The company plans to remedy its disappointing broadband results through its strategy of bundling products, such as wireless with broadband, Roberts said. “Xfinity Mobile will play a big role … scaling this business is a key focus for us,” he added.

[Related: Comcast Business To Acquire Masergy In SD-WAN Blockbuster ]

Comcast’s wireless service, Xfinity Mobile, continued its dramatic climb with 40.3 percent growth during fourth-quarter 2021 with its best results since the launch of the service in 2017, said Michael Cavanagh, Comcast’s senior executive vice president and CFO. The segment posted revenues of $709 million, compared with $505 million in the same quarter a year ago. The company now has 3.98 million wireless lines and picked up 1.15 million additional lines during 2021.

Xfinity Mobile in Q4 2021 reached profitability on a standalone basis for the first time since it was launched and is now “deeply integrated” into Comcast’s Cable business segment, Cavanagh said.

Roberts said that Xfinity Mobile was recently launched for business services and the company is seeing “great early success.”

“Mobile is a great product, but when you add it together, it just gives value to every single segment … There will be a mobile component in everything we do,” he said.

Comcast’s Cable Communications unit—which includes high-speed internet, voice, video, wireless and business services—saw a 4.5 percent bump up during fourth-quarter 2021. The segment generated revenue of $16.41 billion compared with $15.71 billion in Q4 2020. High-speed internet posted a revenue climb of 8.5 percent to $5.86 billion, up from $5.40 billion a year ago.

Comcast’s Cable Communications increased its total number of customer relationships by 169,000 in the quarter, with business customer relationships increasing by 17,000 during fourth-quarter 2021. The segment now has 34.22 million customers.

Comcast’s Business segment pulled in $2.34 billion during Q4, a double-digit increase of 11.5 compared to $2.10 billion during 2020’s fourth 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. Cavanagh said that customers adopting faster data speeds, higher attach rates of advanced products, and continuing growth in its customer base drove its Business segment’s momentum during the fourth quarter.

Comcast in October closed its acquisition of Plano-Texas-based Masergy Communications, a channel-first hybrid networking and SDN specialist, in a deal that will help the cable giant build up its SD-WAN and cloud-based security chops and reach more enterprise customers.

For the full 2021 year, Comcast posted total operating revenues of $116.39 billion, up 12.4 percent from $103.56 billion in 2020. The cable provider’s reported diluted earnings per share for 2021 was $3.23 compared to $2.61 in 2020, a 23.8 percent increase.

For the quarter that ended December 31, Comcast reported revenue of $30.34 billion, a 9.5 percent increase compared with fourth-quarter 2020’s result of $27.71 billion. Net income in the quarter was $3.06 billion, a 9.6 percent decline from last year’s ending balance of $3.38 billion. The cable giant posted adjusted earnings per share of 77 cents, up 37.5 percent compared with 56 cents per share for the same quarter of 2020.

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