NEW YORK — As more consumers “cut the cord” on traditional cable television, businesses selling those services are responding by offering a wider range of products, hoping to retain customers.
Comcast and Charter Communications amplified that trend Monday, announcing that they would team up to offer cellular telephone and data services in the United States, entering a ferociously competitive market.
The two companies had already said they would offer wireless services, and they most likely hope to use their combined scale to negotiate agreements with suppliers and take advantage of a network of Wi-Fi hot spots that the companies have built for customers in their service areas.
Many other cable and satellite companies in the United States offer landline telephone and broadband services as part of bundled packages, and AT&T offers a so-called quad-play through its DirecTV satellite arm that includes television, broadband, landline, and wireless services.
The sector has sought to retain customers who are considering watching television over the Internet, and to attract more of their customers’ overall telecommunications spending.
But the wireless sector has become increasingly competitive, with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and, most recently, Verizon Wireless offering unlimited data in hopes of enticing customers.
“Both of our companies have regional wireless businesses using the same 4G LTE network, and by working together, our goal is to create even better experiences for our customers,” Brian L. Roberts, the Comcast chairman and chief executive, said in a news release.
Comcast is expected to begin offering its new Xfinity Mobile wireless service for existing broadband customers as soon as this month. The company also bought $1.7 billion in wireless spectrum at a Federal Communications Commission auction in April, to help ramp up its service.
“By working with the team at Comcast, we cannot only speed Charter’s entry into the marketplace, it will also enable us to provide more competition and drive costs down for consumers at a similar national scale as current wireless operators,” Thomas M. Rutledge, Charter’s chairman and chief executive, said in the statement.
Charter has said it plans to offer wireless service in 2018.
The companies have an existing agreement that allows them to resell wireless services that are carried over Verizon Wireless’s network.
Under the pact, the companies agreed not to make a major acquisition in the wireless sector without the other’s involvement for one year.
Analysts have speculated that T-Mobile could be a takeover target, and Comcast had been mentioned as a possible buyer.
As part of the agreement, the companies also said they would explore a partnership in a number of areas in the wireless sector, including creating common operating platforms and working together on the development of technical standards.