US cable mulls WiFi

Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the two largest US cable operators, are discussing funding a new wireless company that would be run by Sprint Nextel and Clearwire. Comcast is expected to contribute as much as $1 billion to the nationwide wireless venture, which would use WiMax technology, according to the WSJ. Time Warner Cable is expected to put in about $500 million.

Comcast is said to want to raise $3bn for the venture and other potential investors are named as Bright House Networks, Intel and Google.

This wouldn’t be the first time cable companies have partnered with Sprint Nextel on a wireless play. In 2005, Comcast, Time Warner, Bright House and Cox Communications teamed up with Sprint Nextel on a joint venture called “Pivot” that was designed to provide a wireless-phone service that would complement cable’s wire-based video, data and telephony services. But Pivot faced operational challenges and met with myriad delays, and it had such a slow rollout that Sprint announced last fall that it would stop marketing the service.

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