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Cable’s Wireless Play

Wow. From GigaOM and The Wall Street Journal this morning, the Sprint/Clearwire WiMAX joint venture is on, and top cable operators are in on the fun. Comcast is adding more than $1 billion to the venture, Time Warner Cable is putting in $550 million and Bright House Networks is committed for $100 million. That doesn’t include another $1 billion from Intel and another $500 million from Google. Wow.

We’ve been waiting for cable’s wireless play for a while, and with the dissolution of Pivot, this was certainly the most likely course of action. Among the signs that this was coming: Comcast hired a new exec to head up the Comcast Wireless division and Time Warner Cable’s CEO just hinted that TWC was still interested in wireless broadband if not wireless voice service.

What’s interesting is that this puts Comcast and TWC on track to get 4G wireless out before the big telcos, and before Cox, which just purchased spectrum in the 700 MHz auction. AT&T and Verizon are moving forward with LTE (Cox may be doing CDMA or LTE), but that technology is going to take longer to deploy than WiMAX.

More info as soon as I’ve got it on commercial rollout of Motorola WiMAX equipment in the US.

6 Responses

  1. [...] Also of interest, the focus at the show seems to be almost entirely WiMAX E, i.e. mobile WiMAX. This, despite some analyst nay-saying around the technology earlier this year. I distinctly remember sitting in on a briefing where an analyst suggested that fixed WiMAX showed real promise, but folks should probably back away from the unproven mobile version. [...]

  2. [...] Also of interest, Burke stated that cable’s top two initiatives right now are Canoe and Clearwire. In other words, advanced advertising and wireless broadband. [...]

  3. [...] big buzz around Clearwire is naturally focused on the upcoming nationwide WiMAX rollout, but a report out from Maravedi’s last week notes that Clearwire is already leading the world in [...]

  4. [...] many ups and downs – including one Sprint/Clearwire joint venture derailed, a delayed launch, and new investment from cablecos, Intel and Google – the Sprint Xohm service went live today in [...]

  5. [...] and opportunities, except when the moderator brought up the topic of wireless services. While Comcast and Cox are bullish on wireless, Suddenlink’s Kent is not convinced his company needs it, and he referred to the failed Pivot [...]

  6. [...] WiMAX service has been slow to materialize, but there’s momentum now for the first time since Sprint and Clearwire joined together with funding help from major cable operators, Google, and Intel. Clearwire has promised several [...]

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