Cable Firms Join Sprint in Wireless Venture

Nov 2, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The dream of being able to program one’s digital video recorder remotely moved one step closer to becoming reality Wednesday when four cable operators formed a joint venture with cellular phone company Sprint Nextel to develop technology that will marry cable and wireless services for use on a variety of platforms.

The pact partners Sprint with Comcast, Cox Communications, Advance/Newhouse Communications and Time Warner Cable in a joint venture that will work to develop products that combine interactive features from cable with wireless devices. Among the companies’ goals will be to enable customers to remotely program their DVRs and to create a single voice mailbox for home phones and mobile phones.

Sprint will contribute $100 million to the effort, while the four cable companies will contribute a total of $100 million. The funds will be used to finance the development of the new services and associated devices for the new services, and to help launch national marketing efforts and fund back-office services. Many of the services will be available at Sprint’s 1,600 retail locations.

The agreement allows the cable companies to offer a four-pronged package of services — video, voice, data and wireless — that rivals the offering available soon from regional Bell operating companies such as Verizon Communications.