A group of US cable operators have confirmed they are to wind down a mobile joint venture with US mobile operator Sprint Nextel amid speculation that they may be planning a new mobile strategy. Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications were among the cable companies that yesterday announced they would cease to promote the joint venture – known as Pivot – and transfer existing customers over to Sprint Nextel.
Pivot was first announced in November 2005 and was designed to make the cable operators compete more effectively with the large US telcos by adding a mobile component to their existing voice, video and internet offerings to create a ‘quad-play’ package. However, difficulties in integrating mobile into their existing business lines meant the service only launched last year and consumer interest in the offering has reportedly been weaker than expected. However, spokespeople from the various cable companies hinted that they may now pursue other mobile strategies, while a Sprint Nextel spokesperson told Dow Jones Newswires the operator would continue to explore other options with the cable companies. This could allude to the launch of Sprint Nextel’s WiMAX network in the US later this year following recent reports that both Comcast and Time Warner are considering investing in the new network. Speculation that Comcast is developing a new mobile strategy also heightened this week following its recruitment of former Telefonica O2 Europe CTO Dave Williams.