Time Warner's results from its WiMAX business have been quite dismal so far, but the cable company is reportedly testing a WiMAX phone, according to a source cited by sister publication FierceWireless.
Company spokesman Justin Venech confirmed Time Warner is evaluating offering voice over WiMAX but said the MSO has no formal plans in place to offer such a product.
The sources, who asked to remain anonymous, indicated the smartphone would work over both Clearwire's (NASDAQ:CLWR) WiMAX network and Sprint Nextel's (NYSE:S) CDMA network. Sprint currently sells a handful of dual-mode WiMAX/CDMA smartphones running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system. Sprint, Time Warner and Comcast are investors in Clearwire and also resell its WiMAX service. Time Warner offers unlimited WiMAX and EV-DO data access for $49 per month.
In January, Time Warner executives said the company's wireless business had produced "not very impressive and pretty inconclusive" results. The company said then it had 15,000 WiMAX subscribers. The MSO said its wireless play was still in its early stages, and that it expected to experiment with different wireless pricing strategies.
"On wireless again, I think we have been pretty consistent. We are basically exploring whether packaging wireless data with our wireline offerings is something that consumers want, and if there is a formula that people want, so we are trying different models, different products, what have you," Time Warner CEO Glenn Britt said on the company's fourth-quarter earnings conference call earlier this year. "To date, I would say our results are not very impressive and pretty inconclusive. So, we are going to stick with that for a while. We are trying to spend not too much money while we are doing it."
Further, Bloomberg recently reported that Time Warner is interested in a wholesale deal with LightSquared, which plans to build a nationwide LTE network and offer service on a wholesale basis.
- see this FierceWireless article
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