French media and telecom group Altice is launching a new mobile venture in the United States in a deal signed with American operator Sprint, the groups announced Sunday. Through the agreement, the French group's American affiliate Altice USA "will utilize Sprint's network to provide mobile voice and data services to its customers throughout the nation," a joint statement read. Sprint, an affiliate of Japan's SoftBank, "will leverage the Altice USA broadband platform to accelerate the densification of its network," it added, without providing a timeframe or financial details of the deal.
The announcement came just a day after Sprint and T-Mobile -- a US affiliate of Deutsche Telekom -- called off merger talks. "As content and connectivity continue to converge, we believe this approach will be a model for future strategic arrangements across multiple industries including cable, tech and others," said Sprint president and CEO Marcelo Claure. Altice has more than 26 million mobile customers in a string of countries, including France, Portugal, Israel and the Dominican Republic, according to the company.
Altice USA is the fourth-largest US cable operator, while Sprint is the fourth biggest mobile operator in the United States. "We are excited to bring our global expertise to the US to enhance and strengthen our offerings," said Altice USA chairman and CEO Dexter Goei. "Working together, we will be able to capitalize on Sprint's vast mobile network, which fits well alongside Altice USA's deep WiFi network, and leverage Altice's global mobile experience to deliver greater value, more benefits and seamless connectivity for our US customers."
Altice has big ambitions in the US, announcing last week a bundle for mobile clients to also have access to the internet, a landline and television, a first in the US market.
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