Cable Operators

Time Warner Eyes Wireless-Phone Trial

12/29/2004 5:07 AM Eastern

Time Warner Cable is talking with Sprint Corp. about conducting a market trial of bundling wireless-phone service with the MSO’s video, high-speed-data and voice-over-Internet-protocol phone products, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Time Warner and Sprint are looking to test the wireless bundle on Time Warner’s

Kansas City, Mo., system, during the first quarter of 2005.

The trial -- which could help Time Warner to reduce churn for its core video service -- would market a quadruple play of bundled video, voice, data and wireless-phone service.

Time Warner rolled out its new “Digital Phone” service on systems nationwide in 2004.

Don Logan, Time Warner Inc.’s media and communications division chairman, told Multichannel News in October that the company was considering testing a wireless-phone service, but that it was more focused on marketing its Digital Phone VoIP service in the near-term.

“We’re still trying to get our other voice product rolled out,” Logan said. “It’s important that we deliver quality service.”
Sprint CEO Gary Forsee discussed the potential of cutting wireless deals with cable operators at a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. conference in October, where Logan also spoke.

“Wireless becomes the second issue,” he said. “We believe wireless, over time, will be as important in that [cable] portfolio as voice over IP. But each company will pace themselves based on their own comfort level in taking on new services.”

September