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TWC Revs Up 'Road Runner Mobile' in North Carolina

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) will join the mobile broadband club on Dec. 1 when the MSO launches WiMax-based services in three North Carolina markets: Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh. (See TWC Sets First WiMax Launch.)

The MSO is also getting ready to debut the service in Dallas and parts of Hawaii in the coming weeks.

TWC, which is piggybacking on Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) network to offer a white label WiMax service, will market its offering under the brand Road Runner Mobile.

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), another Clearwire partner, is offering WiMax under the "High-Speed 2go" brand, with services already going in Atlanta and Portland, and launches expected soon in Dallas, Chicago, and Philadelphia, as well. In fact, consumers are already signing up for Clearwire in the City of Brotherly Love, where Comcast is headquartered and sure to launch its High-Speed 2go service. Bright House Networks , the remaining cable MSO part of the Clearwire partnership, has yet to debut its private label WiMax service. (See Comcast's All Clear in Atlanta, Comcast Maxes Out in Portland, and Cable Plays Clearwire Card.)

Time Warner Cable said Road Runner Mobile subs can expect speeds "up to" 6 Mbit/s, and kicking off the launch under the following mobile data plans:

  • National Elite: "Unlimited access" to 4G and a national 3G network (Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s) for $79.95 per month to customers who also take the MSO's Road Runner Standard or Turbo cable modem offerings. The MSO promises "further discounts" if customers subscribe to the MSO's double- or triple-play cable service bundle.

  • Mobile Elite: Unlimited access to the mobile WiMax network for $49.95 per month, which also applies to those that take the Standard or Turbo cable modem tiers. This WiMax tier is also subject to the service bundle discount.

  • Mobile 4G Choice: Targeted to "light" users, this one caps usage of the mobile WiMax network at 2 gigabytes per month, and sells for $39.95 per month if customers take at least one other TWC service.
The MSO stressed that it anticipates offering a number of applications, including the ability for subs to program their DVRs from a mobile device and to store and view video on the go.

Dallas, Hawaii on deck
It looks like Time Warner Cable will live up to a promise that president and CEO Glenn Britt made in July that the MSO would launch WiMax services in four markets before the end of the year. (See TWC Pinpoints Two WiMax Markets.)

In addition to the three North Carolina markets getting off the ground on Dec. 1, the MSO also expects to launch it in Dallas by the end of 2009, a TWC spokesman said via email. Time Warner Cable will introduce Road Runner Mobile in Honolulu and Maui "by early 2010," he added.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to TelcoTV 2009, the telecom industry’s premier event for the exploration of a comprehensive entertainment convergence strategy, to be staged in Orlando, Fla., November 10-12. For more information, or to register, click here.

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