The mass media will push the wireless part of the estimated $200mln deal between Sprint Nextel and Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox and Bright House. But 2 other aspects of the deal appear equally influential: the pact will catapult cable’s retail exposure of diginet, high-speed access and VoIP and will create opportunities for video telephony, caller ID and other ITV home apps. The latter is "one of lots of opportunities available to us through this," Cox CEO Jim Robbins said at a NY briefing. "This is a convergence of great magnitude…an industry-transforming act," added Bright House chief Bob Miron. The MSOs will bring $100mln into the venture, while Sprint contributes $100mln. The venture will get cracking on quad play bundle marketing at 16K Sprint retail stores, development of Sprint/MSO-branded wireless devices and content and convergence initiatives. Questions remain, including how the wireless service and devices will be priced, and how Wi-Fi and VoIP technology will be integrated. Other operators are invited to join the venture, with Cablevision, Charter and Mediacom named at the briefing by Sprint CEO Gary Forsee. "This will unlock the potential of both wireless and cable," giving consumers "a seamless voice, video, data and multimedia experience," he said. Charter was briefed about the venture, and is close to coming aboard, Brian Roberts said.

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