Sprint partnership

Looks like all the big boys are at the table from what we'd been hearing murmurs of: Sprint Nextel, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, and Advance/Newhouse have announced they're entering into a $200 million 20-year joint venture. At the behest of Sprint, who's investing half of that $200m, the venture calls for a unified services bundle of wired and wireless Internet and voice communications (among other things); they'll also be developing co-branded products to sell out of Sprint, Radio Shack, and other retail outlets (which we have a feeling they won't be calling Sprint Nextel Comcast Time Warner Cox Advance Newhouse products, since cobranding will be handled regionally).

Of course, Sprint loves this deal (and is investing the most cash) because it secures content and bundling partnerships for their very multimedia-centric Power Vision EV-DO and future wireless services for years to come, but the cable companies love it not only because it lets them spit in the face of Verizon's and SBC's FTTH initiatives, but because it puts them in concert with a major wireless carrier for said bundling of wired/wireless communications — another shot at Verizon (Wireless). The cable cos obviously see the benefits to using a wireless device to expand the functionality of their home services (think: place-shifting DVR content to your phone, unlimited calls between home phones and cellphones, etc.), and don't even get us started on what happens when you start talking WiMax, which is another thing briefly touched upon in the release.

[Thanks, Dave]



No next-gen Slingbox at CES 2006