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RCN taps MobilePro for quad-play

Sat, 09/30/2006 - 8:00pm
Staff

RCN Corp. said it will add mobile wireless to its service portfolio thanks to a new partnership with MobilePro. The agreement will leverage MobilePro's existing cellular resale agreement with Verizon.

Under the deal, termed as a "wholesale carrier relationship," RCN will initially start to trial wireless voice services in Boston in September under the brand name of "RCN Wireless."

MobilePro has agreed to handle supporting functions, including sales, provisioning, billing, and customer care, and will essentially do business as RCN Wireless. Financial terms were not disclosed, but RCN will have the ability to offer special promotions and tie the service to its voice, video and data service bundles.

The trial will help to determine if "the quad-play has pull" with RCN's customers, explained Tom Mazerski, MobilePro's president and CEO.

If the economics are right, he added, RCN and MobilePro could move ahead with a longer-term deal, and discuss how that would impact the existing relationship and structure MobilePro has with Verizon, since RCN's involvement would certainly add volume.

RCN, a cable network overbuilder, also provides service in New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Bethesda, Md.-based MobilePro today serves more than 260,000 customer lines through its CloseCall America, AFN and Kite Network subsidiaries.

RCN's quad-play will counter wireless efforts already underway with other cable operators. Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable, Advance Newhouse and Cox Communications are already moving ahead with the Sprint Nextel joint venture. Net2Phone, meanwhile, has already discussed plans for a wireless overlay that it will market to its MSO partners.

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