Cable Cos May Joint Bid in Wireless Spectrum Auction

Time Warner Cable said its mobile partnership with other cable operators (Comcast, Cox and Advance/Newhouse Communications) and Sprint Nextel may bid in a U.S. wireless license auction, a move that would put them squarely on cellular operators’ turf. These cables cos linked with print Nextel in a $200 million quadruple-play venture in November. Analysts have estimated that the sale, which could last weeks, could bring in between $8bn and $15bn. The auction begins June 29.
Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt said during a company investor conference that will file an application, but that does not mean they will finally do it. Cable companies would use the spectrum to offer advanced services such as HD TV or VOD features on mobile devices.
On bid competition, they would potentially be competing with leading wireless phone companies, including T-Mobile, which deperately needs it to launch 3G service here. Verizon Wireless has not announced whether it would enter the bidding.
FT: The auction could also attract bids from companies outside the traditional communications sector, such as Google and Microsoft. Some analysts have suggested such a move would make sense for internet companies seeking to ensure access to broadband delivery systems for their content.
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