Comcast says its top priority is increasing network capacity and improving its broadband experience
Comcast reported profits up more than 34% for the full-year 2021, with net income for the year at more than $14.15 billion. In its wireless segment, the cable MSO said that revenues were up 40% year-over-year, from just over $500 million to more than $700 million, driven by customer growth and device sales.
The cable operator added a net 1.3 million broadband customers over the course of the year and 1.2 million wireless net additions during 2021 — its best annual wireless numbers since launching its offering in 2017.
The fourth quarter was particularly good, with wireless customer line net additions of 312,000, the company reported — its best quarter yet. On the company’s quarterly call with investors, Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said that Comcast’s MVNO relationship with Verizon, which now includes 5G service, enabled Comcast to “bring a more competitive offering for our wireless customers that also improve the economics for us resulting in our largest annual growth in wireless lines yet, while reaching profitability on a standalone basis for the first time since launch.”
Comcast closed out 2021 with 34.2 million total customer relationships, and 31.9 million total broadband subscribers. The company says it now has a wireless customer base of around 4 million.
Comcast’s revenues for the fourth quarter of 2021 were up 9.5% from the same period last year, but its profits were down 9.6% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020.
Roberts said on the quarterly call that Comcast has been focused on completely integrating wireless into its product offerings, and in 2022, the cable operator will seek to optimize how it does that.
“There’s just so much upside for us,” he said. “The way we look at it, every single broadband home is an opportunity and every single broadband home should have at least a couple of [wireless] lines. … So we go after a converged approach with broadband, and mobile, and it’s a real opportunity to drive share. In and of itself, mobile is a great product. But when you add it together, it just gives value to every single segment that’s unique to us,” he went on.
“To me, ’22 is a year of optimizing that,” Roberts added. “We’re going to take every single sales channel [and] simplify the go-to-market approach, with mobile included for every segment, whether it’s income-constrained right on up— there’ll be a mobile component in everything that we do.”