News Corp. to unveil wireless strategy in two months

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch said the media conglomerate will lay out a "very clear plan" for its wireless strategy within the next two months and could invest up to $1 billion in the venture. Murdoch noted that the project would be largely driven by News Corp.'s satellite TV company, DirecTV, which publicly disclosed plans to enter the wireless market last year. At that time, DirecTV said it was likely to partner with a WiMax company to offer high-speed Internet services to residents. The party line today makes no mention of WiMax, but insiders said it is not necessarily ruled out. Satellite TV operators generally do not offer high-speed Internet services because they require a two-way link. Implementing a WiMax infrastructure would potentially solve that missing link.

As News Corp.'s online portfolio of popular media content sites like MySpace.com generates upward of $400 million over the next year, it's no wonder the conglomerate wants a slice of high-speed Internet revenues. Murdoch announced that MySpace.com would soon offer instant messaging and VoIP services following this week's free video downloads feature. However, the blogosphere (a good portion of which can be found on MySpace) is up in arms about News Corp.'s alleged blocking of the video service Revver. MySpace users claim posts mentioning Revver are subsequently censored. Murdoch can spruce up MySpace all he wants, but the site's popularity rests firmly on its communal atmosphere and user-generated content. And that's no way for a budding ISP to act.

For more on News Corp.'s wireless strategy:
- see this article from the Financial Times
- and check out this Techdirt blog entry

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