Apparently former Pivot players Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House haven’t lost faith in either Sprint or wireless initiatives, as the triumvirate has officially joined Google and Intel as investors in an expected WiMax jv led by Sprint and Clearwire. The company will apply for NASDAQ listing of its common stock under the ticker "CLWR," and expects to offer mobile wireless Internet services on a broad array of new devices through a network deployment slated to cover from 120-140mln people in the US by the end of ’10. Investments from Comcast ($1.05bln), Intel ($1bln), Time Warner Cable ($550mln), Bright House ($100mln) and Google ($500mln) will earn the group an approx 22% stake in the new company (assuming a $20 share price), with Sprint controlling 51% and existing Clearwire shareholders holding the remaining 27%. Craig McCaw is expected to serve as non-exec chmn of the co’s board, and Sprint pres/CEO Dan Hesse, Comcast chm/CEO Brian Roberts and Time Warner Cable pres/CEO Glenn Britt are all expected to serve 1-yr dir terms. Sprint, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House will become 4G providers of the mobile WiMAX service, and the MSOs and the new Clearwire will become bundled providers of Sprint’s wireless voice and data services. "The agreements we’re announcing today are a financially prudent way for us to add mobility to our offerings when our customers demand it," said Britt in a statement. FCC commish Jonathan Adelstein lauded the venture’s opportunity "to provide consumers everywhere the benefits of a competitive, high-quality wireless broadband network." But Pali analyst Rich Greenfield said: "Given that the $14.5bln implied valuation of the new company is significantly ‘richer’ than we anticipated, it reinforces the view that cable companies felt compelled to do something in wireless, with limited near-term options." Conversely, Stifel Nicolaus analysts called the announcement a "win-win for all parties involved" and gives cable MSOs "a relatively inexpensive option to provide wireless services to their customer base." Mediacom‘s Rocco Commisso is keen on the WiMax venture, telling analysts during the MSO’s blowout earnings call that it’s "just a matter of time before we get involved, as opposed to whether we will get involved." While MCCC didn’t care much for the Sprint/Pivot venture, the WiMax enterprise would "give Mediacom the ability to achieve the same things that larger cable companies are able to do," he said.

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