Time Warner nears MVNO agreement

Dec 29 2004 - 12:05 PM ET | MVNO, Rumor
The Wall Street Journal says [paid subscription req.]that Time Warner Cable is close to inking an agreement with Sprint to become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). While the story isn't new (MobileTracker has been covering this rumor since June) it appears the negotiations have gotten more serious. The deal is not yet final, and in the words of the Journal, "Could still fall through." bq. Neither company would confirm that a deal is imminent, although a Time Warner spokesman did say that "we are working on plans for a wireless trial with Sprint." A Sprint spokesman said: "We continue to be in talks with our cable partners."

While the offering would first be limited to a single trial market -- Kansas City, Mo. -- during the first quarter of 2005, it could lead to a major escalation of the battle between cable operators and telephone companies. While Time Warner would be the first cable company to offer cellular service, many others are interested: Comcast, Cox and Charter have all entered talks in some fashion. With Time Warner offering mobile phone service, the media giant will be able to offer consumers the telecom equivalent of a grand slam: cable, home phone (via VoIP technology), internet access and mobile phone service.