Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Cable Consortium Comments on Spectrum Acquisition, Readies Sprint JV Trial Launch

SpectrumCo, a joint venture including Comcast Corporation, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Advance/Newhouse (cable MSOs) and Sprint Nextel Communications, confirmed its winning bid of $2.37 billion for 137 wireless spectrum licenses in the FCC's recent advanced wireless services auction.

Comcast's portion of the total costs to purchase the licenses is $1.29 billion. Time Warner Cable's portion of the costs is $632.2 million and Cox Communications' portion is $248.3 million.

The consortium said the new spectrum provides many options and significant flexibility as its members evolve their plans for wireless. The members of SpectrumCo did not approach this investment with the intent of becoming the nation's fifth wireless voice provider, but to obtain greater flexibility in developing options for more advanced wireless services.

While no plans have as yet been finalized, including no specific plans to build out the networks at this time, in coming months the members of SpectrumCo will fully evaluate all options including possible testing in limited markets.

The cable MSOs also confirmed that they remain active with Sprint Nextel in the joint venture announced in November 2005. The acquired wireless spectrum could be used in conjunction with this JV. The cable MSOs expect to launch trials of the Sprint Nextel product in seven markets before the end of the year.

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