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Summary:

Time Warner Cable is making some noise today about its formerly named ‘Mobile Access’ cellular service, now called Pivot. The company announced the service and posted a phone number on its web site where you can order it in certain markets. I’m not sure the service […]

Time Warner Cable is making some noise today about its formerly named ‘Mobile Access’ cellular service, now called Pivot. The company announced the service and posted a phone number on its web site where you can order it in certain markets. I’m not sure the service will be the linchpin that the name suggests, but Sprint and the cable companies are finally trying to get the word out about their mobile quad play.

Pivot is actually the brand for Sprint and cable’s other mobile services, too. Check out this web ad about Pivot from Comcast and Sprint. This Comcast Pivot ad was recently updated with monthly pricing plans from $33 for 200 minutes, to unlimited minutes for $200. Pivot multimedia costs an additional $15 to $25 per month, which includes things like mobile TV, music and navigation services. The entire combo could get pretty pricey at these rates.

We heard rumblings about the Time Warner Cable mobile service back in February, when the company went public and mobile around the same time. At CTIA Sprint was showing off Time Warner Cable’s Pivot to attendees.

Cable needs mobile to offer its quad play sucker punch, but who really knows if consumers will want cellular service from cable operators. Time Warner Cable pointed out some of the real concerns in a recent filing:

. . . there can be no assurance that we will be successful in doing so or that any such services we offer will appeal to consumers. There can be no assurance that the joint venture will successfully develop any such products, that any products developed will be accepted by consumers or, even if accepted, that the offering will be profitable.

Sprint, as the third place wireless carrier, needs cable’s help to battle Verizon and AT&T. Pivot will be able to bring Sprint wireless subscribers who want the convenience of one bill, and are loyal to their cable company. But the packages and pricing don’t seem compelling enough to bring in new cable users.

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  1. Not only is the pricing completely non-competitive, but they do not offer ANY phones with wifi. I’m not sure that a phone exists with wifi capability and can operate on Sprint’s network, but if they were serious about this new channel, you’d think they’d collaborate with the handset mfgs to ensure it was an option for the cable companies. Perhaps this is just another intentional omission by the carriers, but if Sprint ever wants to make it out of the #3 slot, they will have to try some disruptive moves.

  2. Does Pivot portend the acquisition of Sprint by cable companies, as the stock price of Sprint is getting hit reflecting its lackluster performance while that of cable companies are faring well? Maybe the cable companies will play with the JV more to see whether QPS really sells.

  3. I have certainly heard rumors of a comcast acquisition. It would be quite large, so they are moving forward slowly, as expected. If this is their idea of a competitive offering, they are doomed.

  4. Andy Abramson Saturday, April 28, 2007

    Actually Sprint has a Windows Mobile Pocket PC made by HTC that packs EvDO and WiFi and it is capable of dual mode services with the right partners in the mix.

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