Parks Associates Blog

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Xohm+Clearwire+Cablecos=National WiMAX

I was wondering why Clearwire stocks were getting a boost yesterday, and today too! WSJ broke the news late last night that Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks are discussing a potential partnership with Sprint and Clearwire to fund a nationwide WiMAX network. Comcast will contribute $1 billion, followed by $500 million from Time Warner Cable, and $100-200 million from Bright House. Sprint and Clearwire will run the network. It's public knowledge that the cable companies have been examining WiMAX technologies for more than 3 years. Are they finally convinced that the technology works and the cost for involvement is right? Although encouraged by the news, I have many questions:
  • Is Google officially out?
  • When will Sprint announce plans to spin off Xohm and merge it with Clearwire?
  • Brian Roberts announced during Comcast's latest quarterly conference call that his company does not have major plans to invest in wireless. Was that just camouflouge?
  • What will the cablecos do with their 700MHz holdings?
  • If the cable companies experienced so many operational challenges with Pivot and have to halt that Sprint partnership, what makes them so convinced that second time will be a charm?
  • What will happen to the partnership between Clearwire and the two satellite companies? What will happen to Building B?

Whatever happens, two things are certain.

  1. Cable companies need to have a wireless strategy in place as soon as possible. AT&T and Verizon are speeding up their deployment and marketing efforts of quad-play bundles and are leading the race.
  2. The wireless market will become much more interesting with a variety of new entrants poised to disrupt the competitive landscape with new business models and strategies.

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1 Comments:

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