It has been all over the news: Cellular network carriers are starting to merge—making the mobile market a whole lot smaller. In the last few months, we have seen Cingular acquiring AT&T Wireless, quickly followed by Sprint and Nextel’s merger. Rumor has it that Verizon has allegedly placed a bid to buy Sprint too. And there have been new reports of Sprint being in talks with Time Warner Cable to resell its cellular service through a marketing partnership between both companies.
The deal would place the giant cable operator among an elite group of companies that are able offer “quadruple-play” bundled service packages. Time Warner Cable already offers service packages that include television, high-speed Internet access and fixed-line telephone service.
It has been reported that both companies have confirmed that they are indeed in talks to possibly partner, but have declined to announce a definite agreement. The deal has been rumored to have Time Warner Cable offering the new service limited to the Kansas City market at first starting the first quarter of next year.
This partnership would not be the only one uniting the companies. Time Warner struck a deal last year that allows the company to offer standard phone service over Sprint's landline network using Internet technology. Time Warner has another working Internet telephony deal with MCI Corp. that has already signed up to 200,000 voice customers in its 31 markets.
It has been rumored that Sprint has also started to “talk” to its other partner cable operators to start reselling the company’s cellular services as well. Cable operators that have active partnerships with Sprint include Mediacom Communications Inc. and USA Companies.
As cellular networks condense and developers start integrating the power of VoIP technology and WiFi with cellular networks, reselling moves like Sprint’s will surely position the Internet telephony industry in the midst of an incredibly challenging competitive telecom ground battle. It looks like VoIP will definitely revolutionize the way mobile communication works today.
|Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was
assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She
can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.