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Charter Communications reported strong fourth quarter results Friday, managing to add video subscribers at a time when most in the industry are experiencing losses. The company also intends to roll out its gigabit internet offering across its entire footprint by the end of the year, Charter CEO Tom Rutledge said on today’s earnings call.

In Q4 Charter added 2,000 residential video subscribers – a marked improvement over the year ago period when the operator lost 51,000 video customers. This compares to video subscriber losses of 29,000 for Verizon and 33,000 video losses for Comcast during the fourth quarter. Including business video customers, Charter added about 15,000 video PSUs for the period.

Charter added 263,000 residential high-speed internet customers, a more modest gain than the 357,000 it added in the fourth quarter 2016. The operator first deployed its DOCSIS 3.1-based 1 Gbps internet service in December and the offering is now available in eight markets. Rutledge told analysts the plan is to have Charter’s Spectrum Gig Internet offering available everywhere it serves, with all 50 million passings activated by year’s end.

 The company also added 22,000 voice subscribers, down from 39,000 a year ago.

Fourth quarter revenue grew 3.2 percent year-over-year to $10.6 billion. For all of 2017, Charter’s revenue increased 3.9 percent to $41.6 billion.

Rutledge said the company is on track to launch its branded wireless service in the middle of 2018 through its MVNO with Verizon, with the goal of gaining and retaining more cable customers. While Rutledge acknowledged that Charter hasn’t decided on how to price its wireless offering yet, he said he thinks Comcast “did a really nice job” with its pricing model for its Xfinity Mobile wireless service. Charter CFO Chris Winfrey noted that wireless will be fully integrated as a cable offering, like video or internet and said the company will provide additional information throughout the year.

“2017 was a transitional year for Charter. We accomplished our key goals of launching our pricing and packaging across our new company, and progressed as planned to unify our service delivery platform into a single entity from the multiple instances we inherited from our M&A transactions,” Rutledge said in a statement. “In 2018, we remain focused on completing our service integration and launching new products to accelerate customer relationship, revenue and EBITDA growth.”

 

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