RealTime IT News

Time Warner Sprinting Ahead with Wireless?

Looking for leverage against telecom carriers, Time Warner Cable is negotiating a deal with Sprint to add mobile phone service to its offerings, a spokesman for the cable giant confirmed today.

"Time Warner Cable is working on plans for a wireless trial with Sprint," Keith Cocozza, a Time Warner Cable spokesman, told internetnews.com. "We are not discussing any specifics."

The service is expected to be tested in the Kansas City area during the first quarter of 2005, then expanded to other markets, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the story.

Adding wireless would round out Time Warner Cable's consumer offerings, allowing it to offer a "quadruple play" -- mobile and wireline voice service, TV, and broadband Internet access. That would be a formidable lineup against primary rival Verizon Communications and other providers of bundles of communications services.

A division of media giant Time Warner , Time Warner Cable has nearly 11 million customers in 27 states. The mobile move builds on an earlier partnerships with Sprint.

Late last year, Time Warner Cable tapped Sprint (as well as MCI) for a multi-year contract to help roll out its residential Voice over Internet Protocol service.

The possible wireless deal makes sense for Sprint as well. More subscribers means a better return on investment for its network which it's upgrading to better handle data transfers.

Plus, the Overland, Kansas, company should be in better position to handle new customers via Time Warner Cable following its pending merger with Nextel .