US-based cable operator Charter Communications has revealed that its capital expenditures (Capex) will be $7 billion in 2019 versus $8.9 billion in 2018.
The $7 billion Capex planned for 2019 does not include capital spending on mobile. Charter did not reveal the specific Capex for its mobile business this year. Charter’s spending on mobile in 2018 was $200 million. Its total spending was $9.1 billion in 2018 vs $8.7 billion in 2017.
Charter has lowered its investment for the current year primarily driven by its expectation for lower customer premise equipment spend with the completion of all-digital conversion, lower scalable infrastructure spend with the completion of the roll-out of DOCSIS 3.1 technology across its footprint.
Charter increased its capital expenditures to $9.1 billion in 2018 from $8.7 billion in 2017 due to the result of integration-related spending, including product improvements and mobile-related systems and facilities spend. Capex in 2018 included $344 million of all-digital costs and $242 million of mobile costs.
More and more subscribers are deserting pay TV bundles and switching to cheaper streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon.com’s Prime video.
That has pushed companies including Charter and Comcast Corp to focus on their broadband businesses and high-speed internet upgrades as a strategy to survive in the rapidly changing media landscape.
Charter added 289,000 residential internet customers in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.
The company reported a loss of 36,000 residential video customers in the quarter, compared with net 2,000 customers it gained last year.
Charter posted revenues of $43.6 billion (+4.9 percent) in 2018 driven by growth in Internet, video, commercial and advertising revenues. Its fourth quarter revenues grew 5.9 percent to $11.2 billion.
Charter generated revenues of $4.4 billion (+3.4 percent) from video, $3.9 billion (+7.1 percent) from Internet, $515 million (–12.3 percent) from Voice and $1.6 billion (+4.5 percent) from Commercial in Q4 2018.