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Altice USA to offer cellular service using Sprint’s network

Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei holds a media

Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei holds a media briefing at the Hyatt Centric Times Square Hotel in Manhattan, May 22, 2017. Credit: Charles Eckert

Altice USA Inc., provider of Optimum cable television, internet and telephone services, will begin offering cellular telephone service using Sprint Corp.’s network, executives said.

Altice, based in Bethpage, and Sprint, based in Overland Park, Kansas, announced a multiyear agreement, though they disclosed no financial details. Altice has about 5 million customers in 21 states.

The companies announced the deal on Sunday as talks collapsed between Sprint’s majority owner, SoftBank Group Corp., to purchase T-Mobile US Inc.

“Working together we will be able to capitalize on Sprint’s vast mobile network, which fits well alongside Altice USA’s deep Wi-Fi network,” Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei said in a statement.

Last week, in a teleconference with journalists after an earnings announcement, he said it made more sense to enter the wireless market with a partner rather than starting from scratch.

Sprint, under the agreement, will use Altice’s broadband network to strengthen its wireless network.

“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,” Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said in a statement.

Altice USA owns 25 percent of Newsday Media Group and was formed last year by parent Altice N.V. of the Netherlands after its purchase of Bethpage-based Cablevision Systems Corp. and Suddenlink of St. Louis, Missouri.

On the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, Altice shares closed up $1.31, or nearly 6 percent, to $23.91. Sprint shares were down 77 cents, or more than 11 percent, to $5.90.

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