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.