Time Warner Goes Mobile in Cincinnati

3/05/2007 5:38 AM Eastern

Time Warner Cable started marketing mobile phone service in Cincinnati, the third market where the operator has launched wireless service.

Time Warner initiated service in Raleigh, N.C., and Austin, Texas, late last year. In Cincinnati, pricing for the mobile service is the same as in Time Warner’s initial markets, ranging from $29.95 per month for 200 “anytime” minutes to $99.99 per month for 2,000 anytime minutes.

The Mobile Access service is provided through the joint venture between Sprint Nextel and four cable operators.

Those are the same pricing plans offered by Sprint itself, although Time Warner and the other MSOs claim that certain features of their versions of the service provide additional “value.” For example, Time Warner said the ability for subscribers to place unlimited calls between their wireless phones and cable phones is worth $5 per month.

Mobile-TV content through the service, provided by Sprint partner MobiTV, costs an additional $15 per month for ABC News, several Music Choice channels and 10 others; or $25 per month for the “premium” 20-channel package that includes Fox News Channel, Fox Sports, The Weather Channel, Bloomberg, Fuse, E! News and ESPN highlights.

Time Warner requires customers to subscribe at least one other service (Internet, TV or phone) in order to maintain Mobile Access service. But executives have said that they don’t plan to assemble a “quad-play” bundle that includes wireless phone.

Meanwhile, Verizon Communications -- the second-largest phone company in the United States -- in January launched a quad-play offer that includes Verizon Wireless.

Other cable operators that are part of the Sprint JV are also in the early stages of rolling out mobile. Comcast rolled out its version, also called Mobile Access, in Boston and Portland, Ore., while Cox Communications’ Mobile Access service hit San Diego and Phoenix.

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