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Time Warner's plans for wireless revealed

Thu, 01/18/2007 - 6:43am

Copyright 2007 World Markets Research Limited
All Rights Reserved
Global Insight
January 18, 2007
By Seth Wallis-Jones
From Lexis Nexis

Time Warner has revealed plans for wireless services at its Home to the Future exhibition. Chief marketing officer Sam Howe emphatically noted that while the services offer the benefits of convergence and will be sold with cable triple-play services, they are absolutely not a quad-play in marketing terms as they will not offer discounted bundled phone services.

Instead, the packages on offer start at US$29.99 and are equal to those offered by joint venture partner Sprint. A number of converged services were demonstrated, including 27 channels of mobile TV, a function to send TV listings direct to the handset, and the ability to instruct set-top boxes (STBs) from mobile phones.

Significance: It has been previously noted that Sprint will take the lion's share of revenues from the wireless subscriptions, and this may be limiting the cable company's ability to offer discounted quad-play services. Sprint has recently been suffering somewhat as unhappy contract customers desert the oversubscribed and under-capacity iDEN service inherited from Nextel, and is not in a position to cut ARPU.

Samsung has also just announced a deal with Time Warner to supply TVs and STBs using its OpenCable Application Platform. STBs are key to delivering converged services such as have been described. Competitor and SpectrumCo partner Comcast recently picked Motorola as its STB partner.

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