Cincinnati Bell Inc. (CBB - Analyst Report) announced its debut into 4G wireless network promising faster and better services. Additionally, the company also unveiled the Huawei Ascend X 4G smartphone that uses Goggle’s advanced Android platform and will be sold at $99.00 for a limited time. The smartphone comes with a two-year equipment contract and data plan.
Cincinnati Bell’s 4G networks will be available in the southern part of Dayton covering Butler and Warren counties. However, the city of Dayton will not be under the 4G coverage area. The company has entered into agreements with other telecom carriers, enabling subscribers to access the 4G network not only within Greater Cincinnati but also outside.
Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cincinnati Bell is a full-service regional provider of data and voice communications services over wireline and wireless networks. After a successful foray into 3G wireless, the company now aims 4G network expansion much like the telecom giants —Sprint Nextel (S - Analyst Report) , Verizon Communications (VZ - Analyst Report) and AT&T Inc. (T - Analyst Report) and MetroPCS.
According to market sources, the 4G wireless service is expected to become an approximately $16 billion market by the end of 2015. Given the market potential, the expansion of 4G services remains vital to Cincinnati’s growth prospects. Additionally, it is also crucial for the company’s survival in the U.S. wireless market considering the growing competition and continued effort by large carriers to tap the 4G market.
The company’s biggest rivals Verizon and Sprint have already spread their wings in the 4G space. Verizon covers 38 markets and approximately 110 million people and Sprint spreads across 71 U.S. markets reaching more than 120 million people. The recent entry of AT&T in 4G has further headed up competition for Cincinnati Bell.
We believe Cincinnati Bell not only remains susceptible to competitive threat from the existing players in the 4G market but also from future entrants like Qualcomm (QCOM - Analyst Report) , which will also buckle down by the end of this year.
Currently, we maintain our our long-term Neutral recommendation on Cincinnati Bell , supported by the Zacks # 3 (Hold) Rank.