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Major MSO Wireless Telephone Alliance Expected

Nov 1, 2005  •  Post A Comment

A widely anticipated alliance between cable operators Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable and wireless company Sprint Nextel could be announced as soon as Wednesday, according to separate reports by The New York Times and wire service Reuters.

The pact, which has been talked about in industry circles for months, would provide the cable companies with a fourth component to their product bundle, folding in wireless telephone service with the video, voice and data products already being offered by the cable companies.

Such a so-called “quadruple play” would better position the cable operators to do battle with Regional Bell Operating Cos. Verizon Communications and SBC Communications, both of which are beginning to introduce a video service to augment their respective high-speed data, telephony and wireless services.

How such an alliance between Sprint and the multiple system operators would work remains to be seen. Both articles describe one scenario in which Sprint develops mobile phones that work on Sprint’s wireless networks as well as wi-Fi networks run by the cable operators. Another scenario has Sprint providing wireless services to the MSOs in exchange for the cable companies’ offering video programming to Sprint customers.