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Comcast lowers expectations on Spectrum JV

Thu, 10/05/2006 - 7:35am
Brian Santo, CED

Comcast released some more information about the spectrum licenses it bought with its partners in SpectrumCo, its joint venture with Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Advance/Newhouse and Sprint Nextel Communications.

Of the $2.37 billion the group bid, Comcast is in for $1.29 billion; TWC is on the hook for $632.2 million, and Cox Communications' share is $248.3 million.

The statement suggests the JV was a marriage of convenience only: "The members of SpectrumCo did not approach this investment with the intent of becoming the nation's fifth wireless voice provider, but to obtain greater flexibility in developing options for more advanced wireless services," according to Comcast.

Comcast said no plans have as yet been finalized, including no specific plans to build out the networks at this time, and said it will take months for the participants to evaluate their options, including possible testing in limited markets. Those markets are some of the biggest in the country, however, including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Comcast did not mention that the spectrum licenses the group won went for an average price of $0.45 per megahertz - pop, the lowest average price paid by all the major bidders in the auction.

The MSOs in the JV still expect to launch trials of the Sprint Nextel product in seven markets before the end of the year.

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