The Wall Street Journal reported late yesterday, and several publications are reporting today, that cable TV players Comcast and Time Warner Cable may invest in a WiMAX network joint venture being discussed by Sprint Nextel and Clearwire. That joint venture, of course, would represent the resurrection of a previous Sprint-Clearwire joint venture that went south along with Sprint's general corporate health. This might just be the missing piece for an effort to build a national WiMAX network that could challenge the likes of AT&T and Verizon Communications in the market for triple play and quadruple play services.
Sprint's cable TV partners were not prominent in the first WiMAX joint venture idea, and it will be interesting to see if other cable TV players are invited to join the effort. The price could be high, as Comcast reportedly could invest $1 billion and Time Warner $500 million under current discussions, but those companies could gain a mobile broadband dimension they don't have now. And for Sprint? Many observers believe WiMAX can save Sprint if the required investment doesn't kill it first. With that in mind, the more investors, the merrier. And what about Google?
- Sprint and Clearwire parted ways from the initial joint venture last fall