Sprint, Cable Ops to Market ‘Pivot’ Mobile Phones


Cable subscribers nationwide will soon hear marketing pitches for a new mobile-phone service called Pivot.

Sprint Nextel and the major cable operators it’s partnering with to market mobile phones to cable customers unveiled the new brand Monday at a convention in Orlando, Fla.

Time Warner Cable and Comcast -- which had already been marketing the Sprint-powered mobile-phone service through several of their cable systems under the brand Mobile Access -- plan to change the brand for their mobile offerings to Pivot.

Cox Communications and Advance/Newhouse Communications’ Bright House Networks cable operation also plan to market Pivot through the joint venture with Sprint.

Sprint and its cable partners took the wraps off of the Pivot brand at the annual Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association CTIA Wireless 2007 convention in Orlando.

“Pivot links your wireless phone with the comforts of home. Our common vision is to give customers anywhere easy access to the entertainment, communications and information services that are already important to them,” John Garcia, president of the Sprint/MSO joint venture, said in Monday’s announcement.

Sprint and its cable partners are looking to differentiate their Pivot product from Verizon Wireless, AT&T and other rivals by closely tying existing cable products to the mobile-phone service.

Features offered by Pivot to customers include watching live TV on cellular phones, access to TV listings through their mobile phones, the ability to check home e-mail on the phones and the ability make unlimited calls between their cable voice-over-Internet-protocol home service and mobile phones.

Time Warner Cable is already marketing the Sprint mobile phone service in Raleigh, N.C., Austin, and Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio. Comcast is marketing mobile phones in Boston and Portland, Ore., and Cox Communications has launched service in Phoenix and San Diego.

Sprint and some of its cable partners didn’t detail pricing plans for Pivot Monday, nor did they say whether they’d market uniform prices nationwide.

But Time Warner Cable is charging the same prices in two of its initial markets, Raleigh and Austin, with prices ranging from $29.99 monthly for 200 minutes to $149.99 for a 3,000-minute family plan.

Time Warner Cable spokeswoman Maureen Huff added that pricing would change slightly April 1, when Time Warner begins to market the Pivot brand. Some cable systems marketing Pivot are also expected to run promotional offers for the mobile-phone service.