& cplSiteName &

Comcast, TWC Won't Bid in Wireless Auction

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
12/3/2007
50%
50%

Two key members of the SpectrumCo joint venture -- Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) -- confirmed Monday that they will not submit bids for 700 MHz spectrum.

Cox Communications Inc. plans to issue its position on the subject later today, according to a company spokesman. Officials for Bright House Networks , the fourth member of the J.V., were not immediately available for comment.

Time Warner Cable President and CEO Glenn Britt broke the news Monday morning at the UBS Global Media conference.

"We are not going to be in the auction phase," he said.

Comcast disclosed its decision not to bid in a prepared statement. (See Comcast Won't Bid on 700MHz .)

Today (Dec. 3) is the deadline for bidders to announce their intentions for the 700 MHz auction, which is slated to start Jan. 24, 2008, and ties into the February 2009 broadcast TV digital transition.

The decision by Comcast and Time Warner Cable comes as a bit of a surprise considering the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) , cable's largest pressure group, urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in late May to give MSOs a fair shot at the spectrum. NCTA made the argument amid worries that operators would bid for the capacity only to hoard it and keep it out of the hands of competitors. (See Cable Wants In on TV Spectrum Auction .)

Although Comcast and Time Warner Cable will not be part of the bidding, they, along with Cox and Bright House, still have a mobile play through the joint venture with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S). Last fall, SpectrumCo also acquired 137 wireless spectrum licenses for the FCC's auction of advanced wireless services, but its members have yet to say how the capacity will be used. (See Cable Wants In on TV Spectrum Auction .)

Comcast noted that the 20 MHz of spectrum acquired in the AWS auction "provides us with significant long-term flexibility and many strategic options. We will continue to explore how wireless can complement our services through various partnerships and consumer trials."

"We haven't decided completely how we're going to use it," Britt said of the AWS spectrum. But he remained relatively cool about how imperative he believes wireless is to cable's overall strategy.

"I don't, at the moment, think a quadruple play around today's business is a big deal," Britt said Monday. He also downplayed the possibility that Time Warner Cable would look into building its own wireless grid.

"We certainly have no intention of building the fifth cellular network," Britt said, noting that the existing networks, with four big players, already represents "a pretty saturated market."

That comment runs counter to an Associated Press report last month speculating that that cable operators, including Time Warner Cable, were considering a plan to build their own wireless network.

"We're not going to do anything stupid," Britt said later, when asked about how much capital Time Warner Cable might apply toward a wireless/mobile play.

Britt seemed more in favor of possible partnerships and investments around 4G-related systems, but only "as an offensive move."

Although the operators linked to SpectrumCo have yet to outline an AWS spectrum plan, the MSOs involved still have a fallback resale deal with Sprint, but the longer-term prospects of that relationship has dimmed in recent weeks.

Sprint, which dropped out of the SpectrumCo consortium earlier this year, revealed last month that it would freeze the expansion of "Pivot," the brand name of the wireless service offered with its cable partners. Sprint, which cited lingering provisioning issues as the root cause of that decision, said at the time that Pivot had been rolled out in 33 markets and is offered in about 20 percent of Sprint's retail outlets. (See Sprint Halts 'Pivot' Expansion.)

"So far, we haven't seen great demand for that," Britt said Monday of the Pivot J.V.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
NFV's promises of automation and virtualization are intriguing, but what really excites service providers is the massive amount of money they could save.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Documentaries
Phone Review: Moto Z2 Play

8|22|17   |   1:54   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Mobile Editor Dan Jones reviews the Moto Z2 Play, which he calls 'a nice modern Android phone with good battery life and one of the nicest cameras' he's seen. The Moto Z2 Play is a Gigabit LTE-ready phone, but we were not able to test speeds that fast in the US.
LRTV Documentaries
Three Gets Smart(y), BT Invokes Twitter – The Recap

8|21|17   |     |   (0) comments


From Telecoms.com, a recap of the week's telecoms talking points. It's been a week of gimmicks as Three tests out a pay-as-you-go sub-brand called Smarty; Comcast
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
VMWare VP Brings Women Up With Her

8|16|17   |   6:49   |   (1) comment


It's an art and a science to make mentorship, inclusive leadership, diversity and promotion of high-potential women work, says Honore' LaBourdette, vice president of Global Market Development at VMWare.
LRTV Documentaries
5G Spectrum Wars – The Recap

8|15|17   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Service provider 3 has filed a lawsuit against Ofcom over 5G spectrum auction in the UK.
LRTV Custom TV
Say What? Facebook Unleashes AI Anarchy – The Recap

8|7|17   |     |   (0) comments


A recap of the week's talking points on Light Reading's sister site, telecoms.com. Facebook AI programmers had a bit of a brain-fade as they allowed one of its AI applications to invent its ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu's Women Band Together to Help Girls Do STEM

8|2|17   |   9:35   |   (1) comment


Supporting women both inside and outside of Fujitsu is a top priority of the telecom vendor. Yanbing Li, Fujitsu Network Communication's director of System Software Development & Delivery, shares why it's important, but why there's still a long road ahead.
LRTV Custom TV
If You're Not First, You're Last – The Recap

7|31|17   |   08:18   |   (1) comment


In case you missed it, Amazon's 1% stock increase helped Jeff Bezos dethrone Bill Gates as the richest man in the world. Also, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
AT&T's Tech President Preps Workforce for the Future

7|26|17   |   5:47   |   (10) comments


AT&T is focused on the software-defined network of the future and is reskilling its workforce to get ready too, according to AT&T's President of Technology Development Melissa Arnoldi.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Why AT&T May Dump Home Security Biz
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/21/2017
Verizon & Friends Bust Through Gigabit LTE in the Lab
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/21/2017
Disney, iflix Team Up to Take Down Netflix
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 8/22/2017
WiCipedia: Dolly Babes, Manifesto Backlash & 'Brotastic' Failures
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 8/18/2017
T-Mobile Turns On First 600MHz 4G Sites
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/16/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Animals with Phones
Talk About a Custom-Made Workstation! Click Here
Proper ergonomics indeed.
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.