Number Portability a Liability for Satellite?


Supporting Founder
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Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
Las Vegas, Nevada
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Will recent moves concerning number portability for cell phone users become a negative for satellite TV?

Recently, consumers were given the chance to switch wireless carriers within their geographic area and keep existing phone numbers. Tom Eagan of Oppenheimer and Co. said that could spell trouble for satellite TV companies, which have partnered with phone companies to offer video services with a bundle of local, long-distance and wireless phone service.

"To us, any bundle that contains a wireless component is vulnerable to increased churn," Eagan said.

When comparing the cable video/data/phone bundle to phone companies' satellite/data/phone/wireless bundle, it may appear cable operators have a disadvantage without a wireless component. But Egan believes the opposite.

"Because wireless churn - already higher than satellite churn - will be increasing following number portability, the RBOC's (regional phone companies) satellite-partnered bundle will be adversely impacted by higher churn," he said.

However, number portability could be positive for satellite TV operators if wireless customers from unaffiliated carriers such as AT&T Wireless and Sprint migrate to Verizon and Cingular, which have satellite TV affiliations. That may increase the number of customers who take the satellite/RBOC bundle, Eagan said.

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