• BT, AT&T chatting it up
BT (British Telecommunications) admitted it has been talking with joint venture partner AT&T about reshuffling the companies' current alliance arrangements. They could be planning to merge their wireless businesses. A statement released by BT said they would make a more definitive announcement later this year.
BT and AT&T are already partners in Concert, a venture which provides communications services to multinational companies, and in the Advance alliance.
• Centennial completes Pegasus buy
Centennial, a wireless telecom provider in the U.S. and the Caribbean, has sealed a deal to purchase Puerto Rican Pegasus' cable assets. Centennial purchased the systems in Aguadilla, Mayaguez, San German and surrounding communities for $170 million in cash. The systems serve approximately 57,000 subs in the western part of Puerto Rico.
• To market, to market
In their new venture, Microtune and Askey have teamed up to develop cable modem products. Askey will deploy Microtune's DOCSIS- and EuroDOCSIS-certified tuners throughout its cable modem product line. Askey is hoping to deliver low-cost, standards-based solutions to its customers in the expanding consumer market for data-over-cable and voice-over-IP services.
• NCTC joins ACA, sort of
The National Cable Television Cooperative plans to pump up its lobbying efforts through a strategic alliance with the American Cable Association. The idea behind the new arrangement is that member companies of the NCTC, a buying co-op, will also join the ACA, a lobbying group. The ACA lobbies lawmakers and regulators on behalf of independent cable operators.
Both groups hope the ACA membership roster will triple from 300 companies to approximately 1000. This could give the ACA more muscle power and a stronger financial base from which to do its work in D.C.
Despite joining forces, the two groups will remain separate entities.