Sprint Nextel heads major wireless-cable joint venture
Let’s just hope they don’t call it Sprint Nextel Comcast Time Warner Cable Cox Communications Advance/Newhouse Communications, because that would just look silly on a Nascar hood. All of those companies have combined to create a mammoth cable and wireless joint venture. There are 41 million cable customers and 46 million wireless customers involved. Convergence is obviously the key here – accelerating the combination of video entertainment, wireless and wired data and communications.
The agreement between the companies has a 20-year term with 3 years of mutual exclusivity. Sprint will be putting up $100 million in initial funding and the cable companies will combine to match that amount. That money will be spent on development of convergence, marketing and back office integration.
Starting next year, customers will be offered a Quadruple Play – wireless, cable, cable phone and high speed internet pack. They will also be developing devices with new and unique features that will combine the cable and wireless capabilities of the companies to meet the demand for a ‘third screen’, after the TV and computer. You can be certain that they will come up with lots of other useful ways, and some completely useless ones, to combine their efforts.
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