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Sprint nears another cable deal, looks to add wireless voice to the package

Tue, 04/20/2004 - 8:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner, Karen Brown

An executive with Sprint Corp. said Tuesday that the company is close to securing a second VoIP partnership with a cable MSO, and hopes to add wireless voice to the services bundle.

"We are close to finalizing an additional cable agreement, which will significantly expand the number of households that we serve," said Howard Janzen, president of Sprint's Global Markets Group, during the company's Q1 conference call.

Sprint appeared on the cable voice scene at the 2003 Western Show, inking a VoIP partnership with Time Warner Cable. Time Warner Cable expects to offer IP telephony in most or all of its divisions by year-end.

Sprint's "turnkey" offering includes a CLEC Service Bureau, which handles operator services, E911 and CALEA support, as well as voice mail, call rating and local number portability.

In addition to Time Warner Cable, other cable operators have already launched VoIP efforts, either through trials or deployments. Though voice is a key component to the so-called "triple play," what's missing from cable's arsenal is a mobile, wireless voice offering.

Sprint apparently plans to help cable operators bridge that services gap.

"We also hope to provide a compelling combination by adding wireless into that package to give a cable company the capability to offer broadband and video entertainment along with the local and LD voice services we provide, along with a Sprint PCS wireless service to add to that bundle," added Len Lauer, president and COO of the Sprint PCS division.

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