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Cable companies pull out of Sprint joint venture
|24 апреля 2008|
Two cable companies said on Wednesday they had exited a wireless phone venture with number-three U.S. wireless company Sprint Nextel Corp.
Spokesmen for Comcast Corp, the leading U.S. cable operator, and Cox Communications said they were pulling out of the two-and-half-year-old joint venture and switching their mobile phone customers to a similar Sprint package.
The $200 million venture, branded as Pivot last year, also included Time Warner Cable Inc and Advanced/Newhouse Communications, but failed to spark much consumer interest.
The cable companies and Sprint had hoped customers would be interested in a single integrated service that combines cable television, Internet access, fixed-line phone and wireless on one bill. It also planned to offer integrated services such as TV clips and e-mails on cell phones or a single voicemail.
A Comcast spokesman said Pivot did not satisfy the cable company's wireless ambitions.
"We decided to discontinue the service because the product required a lot of operational complexities, so we decided it wasn't the approach we wanted for the long term," he said.
Comcast would not confirm how many subscribers took the Pivot service.
Sprint spokeswoman Melinda Tiemeyer referred Reuters to each company for confirmation of their plans, but the other joint venture partners were not immediately available to comment on whether they would also pull out.
"We will maintain our relationship with all our cable partners and will continue to talk with them about other wireless ventures going forward," Tiemeyer said.
Last month it was reported that Comcast and Time Warner Cable were in talks with Sprint and Clearwire Corp to form a joint venture for WiMax wireless service. A source close to one of the companies said the WiMax joint venture talks were not affected by anything that happens with Pivot.