Time Warner may launch WiMAX VoIP offering

Time Warner Cable is interested in eventually launching a VoIP service over Clearwire's WiMAX network, a company executive said, giving the strongest indication yet that the MSO will branch off from pure mobile data services.

Mike Roudi, Time Warner's vice president for mobile services, acknowledged the carrier may eventually need a wireless voice offering to be competitive with AT&T and Verizon.

"Our focus has simply been on the launch of our mobile broadband product--don't read into that that we're not thinking about voice," he said in an interview with Multichannel News. "One of the great things about the Clearwire WiMAX network is, just like we do voice over our [wireline] broadband, over time we will be able to do voice basically as a VoIP application. That is something we have our eyes on. We just have chosen not to lead with voice, because mobile broadband is a more immediate opportunity for us because it is such a natural extension of the wireline Road Runner product." Time Warner is not testing any handsets, Roudi added.

Roudi also said the company--which has been offering its own Road Runner Mobile-branded WiMAX service in Dallas and in markets in Hawaii and North Carolina--will launch service in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, Los Angeles and New York City this year, as Clearwire expands its markets.

Roudi explained that wireless acts as both a retention tool and a new revenue source from customers who want to bundle their services. "Our preliminary numbers are suggesting that 20 percent of the time, when they call to order Road Runner Mobile, they're also adding another RGU [revenue-generating unit]--a digital video upgrade, digital phone or upgrading to a higher-speed data product," he said.

For more:
- see this MultiChannel News article

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